Volkswagen's Golf R gets a round of upgrades for the 2018 model year.

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The hottest hatch in VW's lineup, the Golf R retains its 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and 302 horsepower engine.

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New for 2018 is an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, but we think we'll stick with the standard six-speed manual.

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Helping get power to the ground is VW's XDS+ system -- a brake-based pseudo-limited-slip differential that helps the R achieve torque vectoring.

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Between the 19 inch wheels and the subtle body is a sport-tuned suspension that can be adjusted on the fly via VW's DCC adaptive damper system.

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The Golf R features a range of driving modes -- from Comfort to Race -- that adjust the performance of the throttle, suspension, steering and transmission to suite the current needs.

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There are three levels of stability control: On, Sport ESC and Off. The Golf R is the only Golf model that can totally disable stability control for track performance.

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The R's styling is subtly more aggressive than you average Golf or GTI. No big spoilers or flares here.

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Though the R isn't the only Golf available with LED headlamps, it's peepers have a unique design.

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The 2018 Volkswagen Golf R sits in a sort of sweet spot between a fully loaded GTI and a base model Audi S3. For more details, check out our full review or just keep on clicking for more photos.

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