VW Golf R Cabriolet (2013) first official picturesThu, 07 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Volkswagen has officially revealed the Mk6 Golf's swansong: the production-ready Golf R Cabriolet. First seen at the 2011's Worthersee enthusiast show, the new Golf R Cabriolet packs the same 266bhp engine as its hard-top sister, but loses its all-wheel drive underpinnings. It's now a front-driver, like a regular Golf GTI.What are the VW Golf R Cabriolet's performance specs?
The Golf R Cabriolet gets to 62mph in 6.4sec – that's seven-tenths slower than the regular Golf R hatchback. All Golf Rs use a slightly uprated version of the Scirocco R's 261bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, so you can thank the extra heft of the soft-top's stiffened structure, and its front-wheel drive set-up, for its slower acceleration. The top speed remains electronically limited to 155mph.Why has VW binned all-wheel drive for the Golf R Cabriolet?
It simply wouldn't fit: VW wanted to retain all-paw traction, but the Cabriolet's stiffening struts would've obstructed the rear driveshafts. Still, it's probably for the best. A regular Golf Cabriolet weighs 140kg more than a standard Golf hatch: CAR understands Golf R Cabriolet engineered for AWD would've been around 300kg heavier than a hatchback. Crikey.What modifications have been made to the VW Golf R Cabriolet?
The Golf R soft-top rides 25mm lower than a regular Golf Cabriolet, on 18-inch alloys as standard – 19-inch rims are optional, and you can spec black-painted wheels to match the gloss black grilles, mirrors and brake callipers.
The flared bumpers and twin exhausts are carried over unchanged from the Golf R hatchback. Inside it's familiar Mk6 Golf, albeit sprinkled with 'R' trinketry: spot the aluminium pedals, leather seats and contrasting grey stitching. The canvas roof folds away in 9.5sec at speeds of up to 18mph.How much does all this cost?
Deep breath: the Golf R Cabriolet starts at £38,770. That's £7000 more than a Golf R hatch, and £9305 pricier than a 208bhp Golf GTI Cabriolet. Granted, the R Cabriolet comes fitted with a six-speed DSG gearbox (a £1355 option on a regular Golf R), and goodies like Bluetooth and a DAB radio are standard, but it's still awfully close to full-on drop-top sports car money. A new Porsche Boxster is yours for £1100 less – what price a pair a back seats?
The VW Golf R Cabriolet goes on sale in the UK in spring 2013.
By Ollie Kew