Volkswagen NZ announces expanded R line-up

Volkswagen New Zealand has announced a quartet of R-badged cars will be coming to New Zealand next year.

The first two due in the country will be the new Golf R and Tiguan R, with 235k/400Nm sourced from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Volkswagen says the pair will be the first to feature the new 4Motion all-wheel drive with R-Performance Torque Vectoring.

The new system helps distribute power variably between the two rear wheels, as well as between the front and rear axles.

The Golf R is coming to New Zealand, heading a quartet of new R models.

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The Golf R is coming to New Zealand, heading a quartet of new R models.

As the Golf R is a modern hot hatch, the all-wheel drive system can totally detach the front axle, allowing for rear-wheel drive action through the new Drift mode.

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Also available is a ‘Special – Nurburgring’ mode, which sharpens the throttle and steering, puts the engine and transmission into its most aggressive forms, but softens the suspension to a degree. This means you get the driving benefits of Sport or Race mode without breaking your spine on a pothole.

Also coming is the Tiguan R. Unfortunately it doesn’t get the Drift mode of the Golf.

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Also coming is the Tiguan R. Unfortunately it doesn’t get the Drift mode of the Golf.

However, there is a catch. Only 1st Edition Golf R models get Drift and Nurburgring modes, and 1st Edition models cost $81,990 compared to $76,990 for the standard Golf R. 1st Editions also get a sunroof and a premium Harman Kardon audio system.

More than 70 per cent of the first shipment of Golf Rs have been pre-sold already, but more cars are expected in April.

Volkswagen NZ didn’t say how many 1st Editions it would be getting, but it is a limited model so get in quick if you want one.

Arguably the most interesting R model is the plug-in hybrid Touareg R, which generates 340kW from its hybrid V6.

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Arguably the most interesting R model is the plug-in hybrid Touareg R, which generates 340kW from its hybrid V6.

The Tiguan R doesn’t get Drift or Nurburgring modes at all, which is a shame because a drifting medium SUV would be absolutely hilarious. It costs $79,990 for the standard model, or $84,990 for the 1st Edition, which gets the sunroof, Harman Kardon audio system, and special wheels.

Towards the end of 2022 will see the introduction of the T-Roc R, which should bring most of the Golf R’s feature set to the small SUV body shape (sans Drift mode, again) plus an optional Akrapovic exhaust, and the plug-in hybrid Touareg R that packs a turbocharged petrol V6 along with a hefty electrical system to deliver 340kW and 700Nm.

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