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 — the Golf R and Golf GTD.

With over 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 percent of Golf sales in the country.

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.

The design features of the Golf R give the car dynamism with even more charisma. The newly designed bumpers, LED headlights and 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-inch wheel choices.

As in all new Golf derivatives, the new infotainment systems, such as the 9.2-inch 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.

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-inch 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.

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.

It comes in 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.

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. The new Golf R rockets to 100 km/h in a swift 4.6 seconds.

Recommended retail prices (VAT and emissions tax included): 2.0 TDi R506 700; 2.0 TSi R647 300.