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Following the launch of the new Golf TSI and Golf GTI facelift in May, Volkswagen has introduced two more performance models in the Golf range namely the Golf R and Golf GTD.

With more than 350 000 Golf’s sold in South Africa since its launch four decades ago, the updated version of the seventh generation Golf is once again redefining its market segment by bringing ‘big car’ technology to the compact family car class. The Golf R’s popularity in South Africa continues to strengthen and together with the GTI make up nearly 60% of Golf sales in South Africa.

Traditionally, the Golf R has always been the most powerful model in the comprehensive Golf range. The power output of the latest Golf R moves to 213 kW, making it the most powerful series Golf ever sold in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the GTD, which is Volkswagen’s only performance diesel derivative hatch to be launched in South Africa, combines the performance of a sports car with the fuel economy of a sub-compact car in a most enticing way. This “GTI among the diesels” is driven by an entirely new four-cylinder TDI of the EA288 series which can also be found on the Volkswagen Passat – a transverse mounted, charged two-litre engine with common rail direct injection. The 2.0litre TDI engine develops 130 kW at 3,600 to 4,000 RPM. Its torque is a substantial 350 Nm.

These performance models create a new benchmark for assistance systems in the compact class, employing technologies that will significantly improve safety. These include the optional Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert as well as Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking System.


The design features of the Golf R give the car dynamism with even more charisma. The newly designed bumpers, LED headlights and LED tail lights create a design that takes on an even more dynamic look. The tailpipes were placed further out to the sides; this gives the car a wider appearance. The upgraded exterior mirror housing caps come in Chrome Matt or optionally in Carbon and there are also various 19″ wheel choices. New here are the standard “Spielberg” 19″ alloy wheels or the optional 19″ Pretoria alloy wheels in grey metallic.

As in all new Golf derivatives, the new infotainment systems, such as the 9.2″ Discover Pro with gesture control are also available in the new Golf R. Standard on the Golf R is the Active Info Display, panoramic sunroof and drive profile selection which includes the Sport HMI feature. Adaptive chassis control in an optional extra on both Golf GTD and Golf R and offer the same feature – Sport HMI. In the Sport profile, the ‘Sport HMI’ of the infotainment system on the centre console shows current engine parameters such as power output and G-forces in play. A lap timer is included in all performance Golf models namely the Golf R, Golf GTI and Golf GTD with Active Info Display.

Visually, the Golf GTD looks similar to the new GTI, with just a few individual nuances. The differentiating characteristics are the chrome strip on the GTD, which now extends into the headlights compared to the red trim strip on the GTI radiator grille. At the rear, the GTD can be made out by the dual tailpipes on the left side (in chrome). The Golf GTD is exclusively equipped with new 18″ wheels in “Sevilla” design as standard. Similarly to GTI, the GTD has additional air inlet openings in the front bumper; a honeycomb structure of the air inlet screens; LED headlights with an unmistakable light signature and a pronounced roof spoiler.

There is another strong and significant GTD element that was completely reinterpreted, the chrome line of the GTD radiator grille. This line terminates the lower edge of the radiator grille, but then it is further extended to the left and right into the housings of the standard LED headlights. So, the line runs across the entire width of the front end; as a horizontal element it runs parallel to the bonnet seam and the bumper.

At the very bottom of the bumper, beneath the cross panel painted in body colour, the black air inlet (with its honeycomb structure screen) is now no longer surrounded by another black area, rather by surfaces painted in body colour. In this way, the air inlet makes a stronger impression; simultaneously, the three lateral, black aerodynamic fins beneath the headlights also terminate the front end. Another detail fitting in with the precisely contoured styling is the black splitter (lower edge of the front bumper), which is familiar from motorsport.

From a side view, the sportiest Golf diesel can be readily made out by the even longer look of its roof section due to the pronounced roof spoiler and by the alloy wheels specially designed for the GTD. Even in side profile, the light contours of the standard LED daytime running lights and the standard LED rear lights stand out.

The Golf GTD is offered in the following colours: Tornado Red, Pure White, Dark Iron Blue Metallic, Atlantic Blue Metallic, White Silver Metallic, Indium Grey Metallic, Tungsten Silver Metallic, Deep Black Pearl Effect and Oryx White Mother of Pearl Effect.

Additionally, the Golf R is available in the optional new Turmeric Yellow Metallic and the classic Lapiz Blue Metallic paint finish, but excluding Dark Iron Blue Metallic and Tungsten Silver Metallic.


The engine line up of the models includes the all-new GTD with 130 kW and the Golf R with 213 kW.

2.0 TDI with 130 kW. The new EA288 engine spurs the Golf GTD on to extremely sporty driving performance. It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds; the Volkswagen also sprints from 80 to 120 km/h in a short 7.5 seconds (in fifth gear) and reaches a top speed of 230 km/h.

This GTD is driven by an entirely new four-cylinder TDI – a transverse mounted, charged two-litre engine with common rail direct injection. Its maximum torque is 350 Nm which is available over a broad rev range between 1, 500 and 3, 500 RPM.

With a 6-speed DSG, the GTD has a combined fuel consumption of just 5.3 l/100 km, exhibiting the fuel consumption of a highly efficient car.

2.0 TSI with 213 kW. The new Golf R rockets to 100 km/h in a swift 4.6 seconds. This gain in dynamics is not only attributable to the new and extremely fast-shifting 7-speed DSG, and the standard Launch Control feature of this model; rather, it is also due to the overall high engine output. That is because the DSG version offers a maximum torque of 380 Nm (between 1, 850 and 5, 300 RPM). Fuel consumption on the new Golf R is 6.9 litres per 100km.

Recommended Retail Prices (VAT and emissions tax included)

2.0 TDI 130kW GTD DSG                      R 506 700

2.0 TSI R 213kW DSG                           R 647 300

The new Golf model range comes standard with a 5 year/90 000km Service Plan,
3 year/120 000km warranty and a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty. Service Interval is 15 000km.

In other motoring related news, Subaru recently made the all-new Subaru XV is available in South Africa.

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