Driving the European Spec Volkswagon Golf R, America’s Forbidden Fruit

Why even talk about something we can’t have?

Bradley Hasemeyer

The 2015 Golf R (which should cost around $35,000) is essentially the engineering all-star in VW’s lineup: all-wheel-drive, 290 horsepower 2-liter turbo, 7-inch navigation screen, aggressive body kit, carbon fiber trim. It is quite simply the best product VW has ever made…for Europe. That’s right: this is a Euro-spec Golf R, which has apparently been sent ahead of the version that we’ll be getting in the later part of 2015 (with minor changes).

OTHER GREAT HATCHES: Golf GTI | Subaru WRX | Ford Fiesta ST

Why even talk about something we can’t have? Because when VW knocks on the door and hands over their forbidden fruit, no human of motoring integrity could say no; and we didn’t either.

Carbon fiber accents and brushed metal welcome you as you take your seat. At the turn of the key, the hefty engine sound rumbles as the tach and speedometer needles dance across the entirety of their ranges. The shifts are quick, and the AWD, coupled with a slightly lower stance, allows for speedy entries and exits. The GTI is fun to fling on twisty, pine-lined mountain roads; the Golf R is absolutely riotous.

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