When I drove the Golf R, I didn’t get the impression that needed more power. But it is possible, that’s exactly what the guys at Sportec thought. They’ve taken a Golf R, tinkered with it… …and have managed to get quite an impressive amount of horsepower from it. 350 to be precise. Officially it even has a bit more horsepower… …the dyno showed that it actually has 360 hp. It has 520 Nm of torque while Sportec, modest as they are, say it has 480 Nm. That’s a lot of power for a small car like a Golf. It’s got a DSG transmission, obviously. It seems to be the default choice for a car like this one. They haven’t changed the gearbox at all… …so it still has the same flaws as the one in a Golf R.When you’re in ‘drive’, it’ll do 45 mph in 6th gear… …leaving the car unable to perform, even with 350 hp. But a couple of other things have been changed. There’s a Haldex 4wd system. It allows you to change the power… …going to the front and rear wheels according to your needs. The only drawback is that it doesn’t give you any visual feedback as to what you’re doing. It beeps but you don’t have a display showing the power distribution. So you’ll just have to feel the result. That’s possible when it’s slippery… …but it’s rather more tricky on a summer’s day on good tarmac. Who knows what the balance is? It’s very hard to determine. It has another party trick. There’s this button……and if I press it, the engine sound gets a lot louder, maybe you can hear it. The button opens valves in the exhaust system… …and then it produces an incredible sound. The advantage of the engine is that it produces a huge amount of power… …and an enormous amount of torque, as I mentioned before. That results in excellent performance. The top speed is 171 mph… …but it’s limited by the transmission, it just runs into the rev limiter. So actually its last gear should be longer so it can go on accelerating. They’ve timed 0-62 in 5.0 seconds. A regular Golf R with DSG transmission does that in 5.5 seconds… …so they’ve found an extra .5 of a second, that’s quite significant. That’s 10% quicker, but then again, it is very fast.Another disadvantage of the DSG transmission… …is that it still doesn’t dump the clutch. To protect the mechanism, it takes it easy. So first it starts rolling and then it accelerates quickly. Of course Sportec also changes the suspension… …with that much more power you
need extra control. This one has a Bilstein suspension and has been lowered 1.6 inches. That has made the ride very hard… …and sometimes you hear the wheels touching the fenders. …and sometimes you hear the wheels touching the fenders. So it really needs some fine-tuning. While we’re on the subject of wheels; they’ve grown to 19 inch… …with wide tires and satin black spokes. They’re very pretty, but in this weather they turn matte brown in no time. Should we advise you to buy one? Well, if you are looking for the ultimate Golf……this one comes pretty close. It’s a cool car and it is genuinely fast…..you really feel the difference between this and a regular Golf R. But the lack of a V6 rumble still kinda hurts. The Golf 6 and Golf 5 are almost the same anyway…..so why not take an R32 with some nice options? That dog… .