We all knew this was coming: a Golf R ‘Variant’. VW stopped bothering to properly camouflage its test mules ages ago, with the most recent R estate sightings involving cars disguised with… some small bits of tape.
The official reveal has since happened, allowing us to study a car we’ve already seen many times. But still, it’s great to see it looking all handsome (if not quite as elegant as the Arteon R Shooting Brake) in these official images, isn’t it?
Mechanically, nothing has changed from the Golf R hatchback. It’s powered by 316bhp version of VW Group’s widely-used EA888 inline-four turbo, which feeds the same new all-wheel drive system enhanced by something called ‘R Performance torque vectoring’. The torque split is fully variable between the axles and both rear wheels, meaning it’s possible to lob anything up to 100 per cent to one tyre at the back.
So, handling will be less one-dimensional than the last Golf R wagon, and yes, some power oversteer will be possible. Opt for the Performance Pack, and you get a dedicated “Drift profile” along with a “Nurburgring mode” and a 168mph electronic top speed limiter.
Otherwise, the Golf R Estate will hit the electronic buffers at 155mph. 0-62mph meanwhile takes 4.9 seconds, two tenths slower than the lighter hatchback. It’ll be easy enough to replicate that figure - as with the last Golf R wagon, there’s no manual gearbox option, with all versions using a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
That marginally slower acceleration figure will be easy enough to stomach thanks to the Estate’s more practical body. The boot can store up to 611 litres of clobber, unless, of course, you drop the rear seats. Doing so unlocks a whopping 1642 litres of cargo space since a safety net lets you pile stuff up to the headlining.
Back there you’ll also find handy bag hooks, fastening eyes, boot lighting, and 12 volt/230-volt electrical sockets. There’s also a control for the optional extending tow bar. Yep, unlike the last Golf R estate, you can actually haul stuff with this one, up to a maximum permitted trailer weight of 1.9 tonnes.
This really is a performance car that’ll do it all, and for a reasonable (ish) price. We don’t have a figure for you just yet, but it shouldn’t rise too much above the £39,295 VW charges for the hatchback.