14 Feb 2013

Golf R Cabriolet - Specs, price and images

Volkswagen have just released price, specs and images of the new Golf R Cabriolet.  But it has a problem or two.

Golfs are great.  Fast Golfs are greater.  The early GTi's were brilliant but as the Golf put on weight, and the power of a GTi didn't increase much, VW had to bring out the R models to give us a range topper.  The GTi is now merely the highest trim level of the standard range.  The R32 has been king of the Golf tree for some years now.

The formula is simple.  Stick a V6 lump up front, attach the 4WD Haldex system from the A3 Quattro and hey presto, you've got a fast Golf again.  

But recent Golfs have seen the R32 dropped in favour of the R.  25mpg, V6s are no longer tolerable by our Lords and Masters in Europe.  The diktats say we have to have a 33mpg, 2 litre, turbocharged, 4 pot - and they'll play the sound of an engine through the stereo to keep us happy.

So, to the Golf R Cabriolet.  The Mk7 Cabriolet has already been announced but this is the range topper.  The R.  R for Racing.  R for Rorty engine.  R for Really good.  R for Reasonable economy.

It's the fastest ever production convertible Golf.  It's got a 2 litre turbocharged engine that produces 261bhp and does 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds.  It's got a 6-speed DSG gearbox.  Sounds great!

It's got front wheel drive.  It costs £38,770.  Eh?  Sounds rubbish.  

A Porsche Boxster costs £37,589 and that's got a flat-6, exactly the same horsepower, does 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds.  And it's a Porsche.  With a Porsche chassis.  And a Porsche engine.  And Porsche badges.  And VW make it on their own production line in Osnabrück.

Volkswagen have shot themselves in the foot by pricing the Golf R Cabriolet so high, and directly against the Boxster.  You can even buy a BMW 135i M Sport convertible for £35,000 - but we don't recommend that due to it's incredible ugliness.

We've established the Golf R cabriolet is a car you shouldn't buy because it's front wheel drive and costs a gazillion pounds.  Here's some more information anyway.

It's got a bespoke front bumper with gloss black grille and R logo, LED daytime lights, bi-xenon headlights, gloss black mirror casings, black painted brake calipers with R logo, side sill extensions, a gloss black rear diffuser and chrome tipped exhausts.

The suspension is lowered by 25mm over the standard cabriolet.  Wheels are 18 or 19 inch 'Talledega' alloys in sterling silver or high gloss black.

Inside you get leather sports seats, a leather wrapped steering wheel, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and the hood lowers in a (very fast) 9.5 seconds at up to 18mph.

All very good.  Nice car and all.  So why have they made it front wheel drive and priced it more than a Boxster?

VW have gone mad.