What can I say about the 2012 VW Golf R. This little machine was incredibly fun and rewarding to drive. Absolute driving pleasure! The 2.0L 4 cylinder Volkswagen engine with AWD mated to the famous DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) aka double clutch gearbox, is extremely addictive and insanely responsive. INSTANT rally type shifts up and down with the WRC *POP* between shifts.
Keep your manual transmissions, this is the only way to go! It maintains the fun engaging aspect, it's faster, city traffic jams are a breeze and it makes these Golf R's truly unique. You manually control the gearbox by either the shifter on the floor (+ up / - down) or when the roads become twisty and you prefer to maintain full hands on control, you can shift via the paddle shifters on the steering wheel (right = up, left = down). The gearbox is set up so that it will not shift up or down unless I shift. The driver is in full control. No auto up or down shifts, you can hit the rev limiter and over rev etc, just like a manual box.
In stock form, the 2.0L TSI engine pumps out an impressive 199kw (266hp) and 258lb-ft (350nm) of torque. It delivers power to the ground via the Haldex four-wheel drive system which is exceptional. Stock 0-100kph times are 5.7sec with the manual and slightly quicker with the DSG box at 5.5sec. The Golf R's main competition on the road or "rivals" are similar turbo powered cars, mainly the Subaru WRX / Legacy, the Mitsubishi Evo and the Ford Focus RS.The R had subtle cosmetic upgrades, namely painting the "R" badges and brake calipers yellow, hardwired Valentine 1 radar and paddle shifter extensions. Performance wise was a different story. It had a custom APR Stage 2+ ECU software tune, custom TVS Stage 2+ DSG tune, full turbo back Xforce Varex exhaust system with Highflow cat, Leyo cold air induction system, Autotech high pressure fuel pump kit, RS4 130psi return valve and the intake manifold received carbon cleaning and walnut blasting for better flow and fuel consumption. With the ECU upgrades and bolt on hardware, the VW pumped out an estimated 370-380hp (275-285kw) and 380-400lb-ft (515-540nm) of torque. That combined with it's lightweight compact design and AWD made the grey metallic machine a rocket!
I originally purchased the little hot hatch as it ticked all the boxes for both me and my partner. She was needing a car and as we never do things half-arsed, it had to be something fun and cool! Like most, we drive a huge % of the time so you have to make that time driving fun and pleasurable, not a bland and tiring experience. Fuck no! The Golf is small enough for her to nip around town in and go out with her friends but was still a fun driving weapon for me. A win win. This MKVI (MK6) model was a NZ New machine, low kms and in a stunning "United Grey Metallic" paint job. It had the DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) option allowing you to change the feel and suspension of the car between either Comfort, Normal and Sport. It also had the sounds package and blacked out "Euro" headlights.
We did a lot of research and have always loved Golfs. My missus being from Germany already had several Volkswagens in her family and I liked them for the VW rally heritage, the cool DSG gearbox and size/looks. Budget was never a factor and we looked into both the MK7 (current model) and of course our MK6. We always ended up coming back to the MK6. That front end is easily the most aggressive Golf R front end to have been created.
Personally, the MK7 lost that in your face attitude and became a little softer and little more refined (still a beautiful machine) but like most modern cars, it fell victim to being crafted as more streamlined and not as boxy. To each their own though. Menacing front end looks aside, we also liked the MK6's nicer / thicker steering wheel, "old school" mechanical handbrake and centre exiting exhaust which all helped make our decision a no brainer. For me, the MK6 is the last of the hands on "no frills" Golf R's. Less of what you don't really want leaving everything you do. More simplistic. Sitting in the cockpit you have everything you want without too much driver aid. A lovely drivers package. Well done Volkswagen... well done.
We eventually sold this little rocket as it just didn't fit in with our rural lifestyle no longer. Collecting dust, not being used often and the missus ended up requiring a larger vehicle for her errands so we decided to sell up and let her use the ute or van while we waited for a nice XJ Cherokee example. I would defintely buy another one one day, might be a few toys I'd pick first though as I've had one already but a nice white example, stage 3 and rally road theme..... hmmmmm. Who knows!!