During our time with the Golf R Mk7, we managed to catch up with its predecessor, the Golf R Mk6. We literally mean catching up because the R Mk6 is no slouch of a car. Packing close to 270 horses ready to be deployed to all four wheels, the R Mk6 costs RM 268,888 when new and it was the first to get a downsized 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo after the passing of the huge 3.2-litre V6 in the Golf R32 Mk5.
The downsizing of the engine for the Golf R Mk6 has proven to be a brilliant move, not only it’s friendlier to the environment and sips less fuel, it reduces the mass over the front axle for better handling, and the 4-cylinder also happens to be more powerful than the old V6 too.
So the ingredients are retained but the recipe has been revised, freeing up more horses from the 4-cylinder in the R Mk7. For the Malaysian-spec R Mk7 at least, it generates 276 hp, while torque has climbed from 330 Nm to 380 Nm. The selling price is also bumped up to RM 293,888.
Combined with 45 kg reduction in weight, the sprint time from 0 to 100 km/h is quicker, from 5.7 seconds in the R Mk6 to 5.0 seconds in the R Mk7. Although top speed is still electronically limited to 250 km/h. The Mk7 R is more economical as well, sipping only 6.9 l/100 km compared to 8.4 l/100 km on the R Mk6.
The R Mk6 never really had its foot in the wrong place in terms of its ride and handling, and the R Mk7 inherits the same poise and composure but with a little bit more polish. The main difference is, on the R Mk7 you can fully switch the traction control off, unlike the over-protective R Mk6. This allows more freedom for you to explore the car’s limits of adhesion as long as you’re willing to.
On the outside, the R Mk7 follows the understated approach of the R Mk6 and their predecessors with subtle R touches to spice things up. Parked next to the R Mk6, the R Mk7 looks wider and flatter due to the growth in width and length by 13 mm and 64 mm respectively, but it’s lower than the R Mk6 by 25 mm.
The R elements on the exterior of both cars are identical: simple grille, huge air intakes on the front bumper, side skirts, 19-inch wheels, twin-exit tailpipes, and R badges; however the details are distinctly different.
For example on the R Mk7, the Lapiz Blue shade is deeper than the Rising Blue on the R Mk6, the slats on the front side air intakes have been reduced, side mirror caps are now in matte silver instead of gloss black, Cadiz alloys have took the place of a set of Talladega wheels, and the amount of tailpipes at the back end have been doubled to four.
Similarly on the inside, you will find a chunky flat-bottom steering wheel with shift paddles, blue needles, push start button, piano black trim, glass sunroof, and leather upholstery in both cars. Although the R Mk7 is missing the gorgeous Motorsport Bucket Seats in the R Mk6, the seats in the R Mk7 is just as accommodating.
Whichever you look at it, the R offers supercar-baiting performance in a conventional compact hatch shell. The way the R makes it so accessible is nothing short of amazing and sometimes we wonder how can VW make it any better, but they are already teasing with a madder Golf R400 with 400 hp from essentially the same turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder. It might still be a concept car at this stage but judging by the growth of progress these days it’s only a matter of time we’ll get to see it in the showroom.
Golf R Mk6
Golf R Mk7
Golf R Mk6 & Golf R Mk7