The new VW Golf 8 R is going on sale at the end of April at a starting price of R912,800.
Not many hot hatches can compete with VW’s new beast, but there are a few that is up to the challenge.
From under the VW umbrella itself, there’s the Audi S3 Quattro, from BMW, there’s the M135i xDrive, and from Mercedes-AMG, there’s the A35 4Matic, all of which are four-wheel drive and boast comparable performance figures to the Golf.
Outside of the German brands, Honda’s Civic Type R, Hyundai’s i30 N, and Renault’s last-ever Megane RS300 are possible alternatives to the R, as well as the upcoming Toyota GR Corolla which arguably poses the biggest threat to the sporty VW’s market share.
Golf R specs
The new Golf R comes with a 2.0-litre, turbocharged motor pushing 235kW and 400Nm, in partnership with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with an electronic differential lock and adaptive chassis control.
The hatchback is capable of toppling 250km/h and if it hooks up just right, it sprints to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds.
In the cabin, prospective buyers can look forward to a panoramic sunroof, automatic LED lights with high-beam assist, a wireless charger, keyless entry and start, electric tailgate operation, and R-specific Nappa leather seats.
Furthermore, the Discover Pro infotainment system is installed as standard, bringing a 10.25-inch instrument cluster flanked by a 10.25-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice control, and satellite navigation.
In the tables below, we detail where the new VW Golf R ranks against its biggest rivals in South Africa.
|VW Golf 8 R||235kW/400Nm||AWD|
|Honda Civic Type R||228kW/400Nm||FWD|
|Renault Megane RS300 Trophy||221kW/420Nm||FWD (4-wheel steer)|
|Toyota GR Corolla||221kW/370Nm||AWD|
|Hyundai i30 N||206kW/392Nm||AWD|
|Mercedes-AMG A35||4.7 seconds||250km/h|
|BMW M135i||4.8 seconds||250km/h|
|VW Golf 8 R||4.8 seconds||250km/h|
|Audi S3||4.9 seconds||250km/h|
|Toyota GR Corolla||5.0 seconds (approx.)||230km/h|
|Hyundai i30 N||5.4 seconds||250km/h|
|Renault Megane RS300 Trophy||5.7 seconds||255km/h|
|Honda Civic Type R||5.8 seconds||272km/h|
|Hyundai i30 N||R795,900|
|Honda Civic Type R||R857,500|
|VW Golf 8 R||R912,800|
|Renault Megane RS300 Trophy||R949,999|
|Toyota GR Corolla||TBD|
Get South Africa’s latest entrepreneurial or business success stories delivered right to your inbox — Sign up to Entrepreneur Hub SA’s newsletter today