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2015 VW Golf R: VW's quickest hatch gets quicker (pictures)

The new and improved Golf R has more power and performance and, in our opinion, looks quite dashing in blue.

Tim_Stevens.jpg
Tim Stevens
2015 Volkswagen Golf R
1 of 17 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

This is it, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
2 of 17 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

The car gets some significant updates over last year. Most significant? 36 more horsepower!  It's up to 292 in 2015.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
3 of 17 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

Torque also increases, to 280 pound-feet, while the weight of the car is down about 50 pounds, and fuel efficiency is up to 30 MPG highway!

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
4 of 17 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

Visual differences are subtle, the big wheels and "R" badge on the grille separating this from a regular GTI.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
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2015 Volkswagen Golf R

LED headlights help set the car apart, too.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
6 of 17 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

These are the optional 19-inch wheels, though the 18-inchers look similar.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
7 of 17 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

This is the revised 2.0-liter TSI engine. It features a revised turbo, injectors and other tweaks compared to the same motor in a GTI.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
8 of 17 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

Big scoops in the hood direct air to the intercoolers.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
9 of 17 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

Power is routed through a 4MOTION drivetrain, with XDS+ differentials front and rear, which use the brakes to direct power left or right.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
10 of 17 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

The five-door model is the only one coming to the US.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
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2015 Volkswagen Golf R

Mountains not included.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
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2015 Volkswagen Golf R

The car is longer and wider than the previous Golf R, and features excellent, refined handling.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
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2015 Volkswagen Golf R

Cooling is not a problem for the Golf R.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
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2015 Volkswagen Golf R

While Europe does get a three-door version, sadly this will be all we get in the US.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
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2015 Volkswagen Golf R

Yes, lots of room in the hatch. Practicality and performance.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
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2015 Volkswagen Golf R

Interior is clean and sophisticated, light years beyond this car's closest competition, the Subaru STI.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
17 of 17 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

Seats are supportive and comfortable, but hopefully you like leather, because that's your only choice.

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