Golf R Cabriolet 2.0 TSI
need not a penny less than
£38,770 to buy one of VWs
Cabriolets. Not only is it the most
expensive soft-top Golf ever, but its
also the fastest-ever open-top Golf...
TO ITS CACHET is that only 100 are expected to be sold in a full year in the
UK. At the heart of this model is a 261bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot petrol
engine driving through a six-speed DSG automatic transmission.
This two-door drop-top model doesn't have the 4Motion system as used for the
Mk6 Golf R hatchback, but is front-wheel drive only (the all-wheel drivetrain
couldn't be used because of the space taken up for the additional strengthening
in the Golf R Cabriolet's platform.
Like its slower Golf Cabrio stablemates, the R version has an electrically-operated
fabric roof which can be lowered in 9 seconds (and raised in 11) at speeds of
up to 18mph.
The Golf R Cabriolet also uses a bespoke design front bumper with glossy black
grille and 'R' logo, LED daytime running lights, bi-xenon headlights, black-painted
brake callipers ('R' logoed), 19-inch alloy wheels, side sill extensions, a
glossy black rear diffuser, chrome tailpipes for the two exhausts and a lowered
the specification is as high as it should be for the price with four individual
leather-upholstered seats, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, brushed
aluminium pedals, DAB radio, Bluetooth preparation, AirCon, electric windows,
cruise control, automatic lights 'n' wipes and a full complement of safety equipment
including automatic roll-over protection.
They dont come
more niche than the
Golf R Cabriolet
only 100 affluent
motoring enthusiasts in
the UK will be able to
invest in one...
With VW already selling the award-winning Mk7 Golf hatchbacks, models such as
the Mk6 Estates and Cabriolets now only have a limited life-span, and it's quite
unusual for carmakers to cross over two generations of volume selling models
with niche selling versions.
And they don't come more niche than the Golf R Cabriolet: only 100 affluent
motoring enthusiasts in the UK will be able to invest in one. And with, perhaps,
two years left of production for this generation Golf Cabriolet, that makes
just 200 on UK roads which only adds to its appeal. Plus the rarity and exclusivity
should keep the residual values high for keen driver-collectors.
So three cheers for Volkswagen, who deserve to be complimented on producing
such an exciting niche vehicle rare these days for a volume manufacturer,
especially when its new Golf models are starting to appear wearing the latest
With front-wheel drive only, the 261bhp and 258lb ft of torque (from 2,500rpm)
is punched out via a six-speed DSG twin-clutch auto gearbox and it's
a smooth and responsive combination.
Drive to the front wheels is handled through an electronic differential which
reduces torque-steer but doesn't eliminate it all together and that actually
adds to the driving character of the car. The R Cabriolet feels more agile and
not weighed down by VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive system although it does lack
the sure-footed 4WD grip during cornering.
Fast though it is with impressive acceleration, the four-cylinder turbocharged
engine and auto 'box make it very useable in stop-start traffic and at low-
to mid-range speeds. When unleashed on the open road the Cabrio shows a brisk
pair of heels, with 62mph coming up in 6.4 seconds and bags of punch to overtake
slower moving traffic.
economy isn't its strongest feature though
although it's officially 34.4mpg in the Combined Cycle, my relatively short
and gentle test drive couldn't muster more than 29mpg.
When unleashed on the
open road the Cabrio
shows a brisk pair of
heels, with 62mph
coming up in 6.4 seconds
and bags of punch to
overtake slower moving
With CO2 emissions of 190g/km, the first year's road tax is £475 but reducing
to £260 for the second year onwards. Insurance won't be cheap either thanks
to a 39E rating. But given its near-£40K purchase price, the small matter of
fuel, tax and insurance costs really aren't going to worry would-be owners,
are they now?
In all other respects the Golf R Cabriolet is, apart from its premium quality
interior and high specification, very much the same as less costly Golf soft-tops.
The roof is easy to raise and lower and wind intrusion into the car isn't too
blustery except at very high speeds.
With its lowered sports suspension the ride can be fidgety over rougher surfaces,
and there is a small amount of scuttle shake with the roof up or down.
Overall, it's a good-looker both inside and out, and lucky owners will know
they have enough power and performance under their right foot to see off most
other cabriolet hatchbacks and a good few soft-topped sports cars to boot.
Against? Expensive to buy and run and uses the previous generation Golf platform.
But if you've got the necessary readies, that won't stop you indulging in its
fast performance and luxurious quality and basking (top down, of course) in
Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet 2.0 TSI
Top speed: 155mph | 0-62mph: 6.4 seconds | Average Test MPG: 29mpg
Power: 261bhp | Torque: 258lb ft | CO2 190g/km