Volkswagen of America confirmed that the U.S. spec 2015 Golf R will debut at the Detroit auto show next week. While at 290 horsepower, it’s down 6 HP from the Euro spec Golf R shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September but that still will be enough power driving through all four wheels to tick off 5.3 seconds in a zero to sixty run with a six speed fully manual transmission and an even quicker 4.9 seconds in the DSG dual clutch equipped R. That’s correct, U.S. consumers will finally have a choice of gearboxes in the R. Starting with the 2004 R32, VW has only offered either the six speed manual or the DSG transmission on American versions of the Golf R.
The U.S. Golf R will only be available as a five door hatchback and will go on sale in the first quarter of 2015. No official EPA rating is yet available but VW says that the car will show an improvement of 4 MPG (highway) over the 2013 Golf R’s 27. All 280 lb-ft of torque is available from 1,800 to 5,500 RPM.
In addition to more boost than in the GTI, the 2015 Golf R has significantly quicker steering, 2.1 turns lock to lock versus 2.75 on the lower powered Golfs, along with progressive variable ratio steering. The Golf R sits on an upgraded suspension that’s 0.2 inches lower than the GTI and 0.8 inches lower than the standard Golf. The U.S. Golf R also comes with 18-inch wheels, a more aggressive body kit, and bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights. Out back there is a four-tip exhaust. Stability control can be deactivated for track use. The brakes are also upgraded with 13.4-inch rotors and 2.4-inch brake pistons in the front along with 12.2-inch rotors in the rear with 1.7-inch pistons.
There are four driver selectable modes: comfort, normal, individual and race that adjust shock absorber damping, shift points and engine throttle mapping.
The interior gets upgrades as well, with nappa leather trimmed sport seats, “carbon touch” dashboard inlays, a three-spoke steering wheel and a gauge cluster unique to the Golf R..