Friday 8th February 2013
TOPLESS GOLF R, FAST BEETLE GSR
These aren't the fast VWs you're looking for. You can go about your business. Move along.
As we await the Mk7 Golf GTI
later in the year Volkswagen has decided to keep our interest in fast Golfs awake with ... a two-wheel drive R Cabriolet based on the Mk6 platform.
265hp and the best part of £40K. Hm.
Apart from a canvas roof and a hefty £38,770 pricetag you'll have 265hp to help blow away those nagging doubts about the wisdom of spending nearly £40K on an old ragtop Golf when a 306hp BMW 135i M Convertible starts at £35,625. DSG only is inevitable in this day and age and unlikely to prompt even the flicker of an eyebrow.
The fact it costs £8K more than the adequately rapid, also DSG-only, also front-driven 210hp 2.0-litre TSI Golf Cabriolet might though. Ditto the loss of four-wheel drive. It does run special R suspension, which is 25mm lower than standard, but not being based on the new Golf's MQB platform it's unlikely to get the trick active differential promised for the GTI.
Cabrio Golf R too macho? There's an alternative
Further signs of curious goings on in Wolfsburg - via the Chicago Auto Show (nor us) - have been confirmed with a limited run Beetle GSR. Though claimed to be designed "solely with dynamics in mind" there's a little more to it than that, the GSR name (Gelb-Schwarzer-Renner, or Yellow-Black-Racer if our GCSE German serves) reviving a classic badge and paint scheme applied to a limited run of 3,500 original Beetles built 40 years ago. Go on, guess how many of the new one they'll be making...
Claimed as now one of the most expensive and sought after classic Beetles, the 1303 S was, in its day, the fastest Volkswagen on sale. Somewhat optimistically VW boasts this new one will also become a collector's item and invites speculation to how values will hold in 2053. Check the PH classifieds in 40 years' time to see how that goes.
A future classic, promises VW
210hp is, at least, more than four times the 50hp of the original and, unlike the Golf R, there is the option of a manual or DSG. If the whole bumblebee thing isn't to your taste there's also a more subdued grey/black option too. Prices in Germany start at 30,300 euros, UK availability TBC.