From the December 2023 issue of Car and Driver.
0–150–0 mph: 40.2 seconds
Base: $47,405 | As-Tested: $47,405
Power and Weight: 315 hp • 3419 lb • 10.9 lb/hp
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza S005, 235/35R-19 91Y +
Brakes, F/R: 14.1-in vented, cross-drilled disc/12.2-in vented disc
After the tricky, tire-frying clutch drops of the Civic and the Elantra, launching the automatic, all-wheel-drive Golf R was as routine as clocking in for your shift at the 150-mph factory. One driver noted, “Put it in Special mode that’s labeled Nürburgring, push on the gas, push on the brake, rev it up, and it goes.” The Golf hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and a buck-fifty requires 33.3 seconds. Since we were only pointing straight, there was little opportunity to touch the capacitive steering-wheel buttons by accident, so that was nice. The Golf’s brakes gave a little wiggle on one stop but otherwise felt the same every time, essentially duplicating the Civic’s stopping performance and erasing 150 mph in 6.2 seconds.
True to its origins, the pocket rocket from the land of autobahns felt like it would be happy to stay at 150 mph for as long as we pleased.
Ezra Dyer is a Car and Driver senior editor and columnist. He’s now based in North Carolina but still remembers how to turn right. He owns a 2009 GEM e4 and once drove 206 mph. Those facts are mutually exclusive.