Volkswagen has revisited its hottest model, the Golf R, for the American market. Although we don't get the same Euro bump to 310 horsepower, we gain a new seven-speed DSG transmission that's marginally quicker than the last, helping the car to reach faster speeds and better times on track. The MK7.5 Golf R also gets 17-inch drilled disc brakes and improved aerodynamics, making it more in step with its boy-racer competition, the Subaru WRX STI and Ford Focus RS.
The Golf R also gets a subtle facelift to differentiate it from the GTI, addressing a common complaint about the two models. Larger front intakes reflect a brassy demeanor that follows the car's profile all the way back to the rear diffuser. A rear spoiler improves downforce, giving the VW a sportier look while also serving a functional purpose.
The Performance Package doesn't add any straight line speed, but it'll still perform 0-60 in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 166 miles per hour. A set of Pirelli Trofeo R tires are fitted to improve cornering Gs along with the rest of the track-focused additions, improving generously from last year's model. A titanium Akrapovic exhaust is also in place to add a sporty sound to the high output 2.0L turbo four.
Volkswagen announced that the Performance Package will be released "later this year", though it didn't give an exact date. Regardless of when it does, expect it to propel the Golf R to the next level of value for the $35K-$40K price range.