Ownership Verified: "Riley" - 2012 Volkswagen Golf R

devil500

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Honestly, the EVO will dominate it, but that car is in a completely different class. Here's how it does against the STI and some other cars on VIR's Grand West course, which is a very high speed track - two long straights.

VIR Grand West Course (Car & Driver Lightning Laps)

65 3:10.6 MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION SE LL2 2/11
70 3:11.7 BMW Z4 M COUPE LL2 8/07
71 3:12.0 NISSAN NISMO 370Z LL2 2/10
77 3:13.5 MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX MR LL1 11/06
80 3:13.8 SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI SEDAN LL2 2/11
81 3:13.8 BMW 335is LL2 2/12
82 3:14.0 LEXUS IS F LL2 11/08
83 3:14.0 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF R LL2 2/12
84 3:14.6 AUDI S5 LL2 11/08
86 3:15.0 HONDA S2000 CR LL2 11/08
89 3:16.2 MAZDASPEED 3 LL1 2/10
92 3:16.6 SUBARU IMPREZA WRX HATCHBACK LL1 2/10
93 3:16.6 LOTUS ELISE SC LL2 11/08
94 3:16.7 MAZDA RX-8 R3 LL2 2/11
95 3:17.1 MINI COOPER JOHN COOPER WORKS LL1 2/10
100 3:19.0 MAZDA RX-8 LL1 11/06
101 3:19.0 SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI HATCHBACK LL2 11/08
102 3:19.3 VOLKSWAGEN GTI MkVI LL2 2/10

Looking at those times I think the car is a good compromise between speed,comfort, and practicality.
 

Perc

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Yes, 66k?. Our cars are quite heavily taxed.
And 66k is not just a lot of money, its also slightly more than - say - an A4 3.0TDI quattro Stronic. If you can afford a 66k? car chances are you are going to be grown up enough to want an A4 and not a Golf. Wonder how many Golf R's they've sold in Finland so far?


Funny how you Americans seem to get all the tasty manual options nowadays, like the E60 M5 for instance.
Because a manual transmission is an enthusiast thing in the US. Totally the other way around compared to Europe where the default choice is manual unless the owner has special preferences.

To me, an auto (dsg, smg, tiptronic, whatever) is a part of the luxury experience I'd want when buying a higher end car.
 

LeVeL

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Honestly, the EVO will dominate it, but that car is in a completely different class. Here's how it does against the STI and some other cars on VIR's Grand West course, which is a very high speed track - two long straights.

VIR Grand West Course (Car & Driver Lightning Laps)

65 3:10.6 MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION SE LL2 2/11
70 3:11.7 BMW Z4 M COUPE LL2 8/07
71 3:12.0 NISSAN NISMO 370Z LL2 2/10
77 3:13.5 MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX MR LL1 11/06
80 3:13.8 SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI SEDAN LL2 2/11
81 3:13.8 BMW 335is LL2 2/12
82 3:14.0 LEXUS IS F LL2 11/08
83 3:14.0 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF R LL2 2/12
84 3:14.6 AUDI S5 LL2 11/08
86 3:15.0 HONDA S2000 CR LL2 11/08
89 3:16.2 MAZDASPEED 3 LL1 2/10
92 3:16.6 SUBARU IMPREZA WRX HATCHBACK LL1 2/10
93 3:16.6 LOTUS ELISE SC LL2 11/08
94 3:16.7 MAZDA RX-8 R3 LL2 2/11
95 3:17.1 MINI COOPER JOHN COOPER WORKS LL1 2/10
100 3:19.0 MAZDA RX-8 LL1 11/06
101 3:19.0 SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI HATCHBACK LL2 11/08
102 3:19.3 VOLKSWAGEN GTI MkVI LL2 2/10

A few observations that I find strange...
1) WRX is quicker than STI hatch, yet the STI sedan is way faster than the WRX
2) WRX, MS3, S2000 are all faster than Elise SC
3) The VW is faster than the S2000 CR and the Elise
 

jsausley

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Looking at those times I think the car is a good compromise between speed,comfort, and practicality.

Agreed! That's why I wanted it.

A few observations that I find strange...
1) WRX is quicker than STI hatch, yet the STI sedan is way faster than the WRX
2) WRX, MS3, S2000 are all faster than Elise SC
3) The VW is faster than the S2000 CR and the Elise

Yeah, some of that is a bit strange. Well, the STI may be due to different models? The WRX is a 2011 but the STI hatch was 2008. The STI sedan was 2011 as well.

Similarly, the Elise is 2008. A newer Exige should be significantly faster, no? As for the Honda, it's light and nimble but as I said, VIR is a high speed course, so it probably loses out a bit on the straights since even the VW has significantly more grunt.

Anyway, got the Stage 1+ tune today.. Wow!! The car comes alive. It has so much more pull. Just the right amount really. I think once I get the APR intake on the car it will be just about perfect. Oh - and I averaged 33.0 MPG on the way back, which is significantly better than the mileage before the tune. Very impressed by that!
 

jsausley

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Got a few toys put on yesterday...

http://img835.imageshack.**/img835/7775/20120416230805226.jpg

Forge Motorsport cold air intake and Neuspeed carbon fiber engine cover. The OEM engine cover is part of the stock air box on a Golf R so it must be removed when a CAI is installed.
 

jsausley

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I just made an epic double post. Oops.

Here's something to fill it with:

548303_10150787967629005_502744004_9810536_1639282737_n.jpg


My R next to my dad's '13 GT-R at Cars & Coffee.
 
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jsausley

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Took the Golf R to Cars & Coffee last weekend. Here are some pictures that were posted on Facebook of my car and some of the other nice cars at the event.

More shots from May 5 Raleigh Cars & Coffee here (not my photos):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2talltodd/sets/72157629607782746/

The R:


DSC_9115 by Todd_Billiar, on Flickr


DSC_9114 by Todd_Billiar, on Flickr

Some other cars:


DSC_9085 by Todd_Billiar, on Flickr


DSC_9097 by Todd_Billiar, on Flickr


DSC_9082 by Todd_Billiar, on Flickr


DSC_9135 by Todd_Billiar, on Flickr


DSC_9143 by Todd_Billiar, on Flickr


DSC_9151 by Todd_Billiar, on Flickr


DSC_9156 by Todd_Billiar, on Flickr
 

SIMid

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Sweet ride! If I ever sell my Astra-T, I'll definately look into one of these. :)
 

jsausley

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Earlier this week I did the swap to European-style LED tail lights with rear fog.

Other than simply just swapping the tail lights themselves, this involves going into the CECM (central electronics control module) under the dash and adding two VW repair wires. This is to wire up the fog light and the parking light functions which do not come standard on the U.S.-spec Golf R. Additionally, because the fog light is located where the reverse light on the left side was originally, you have to switch two other pins and recode the car's CECM in VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostics Software) so that you don't get bulb out faults on the dash. Finally, you have to add the European headlight switch in order to actually activate either the parking lights or the rear fog because the U.S. car came with neither. Overall it seems like a pretty involved modification, but it's actually very easy apart from the swapping of the wires under the dash. That was fairly difficult because of clearance issues (it's really tight under there and hard to work in such a confined space).

Very pleased with the results overall.

Before:

dscn1755t.jpg

After:

20120518090902442.jpg

This OEM-spec modification really adds the final touch to the rear of the car making it look more like the more expensive exclusive car that it is, rather than just another Golf.
 
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jsausley

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Very nice! Where did you get them, and how much did they set you back?

I got a great deal on them. I purchased this set from a VW Vortex member for $600. You can get them on group buys from Europe for about $520-550 plus shipping but there's a 4-6 week lead time usually.

How come they don't come standard on the US models?
(looks excellent btw)

Thank you! I'm not sure if the real reason is really out there yet. A lot of features were stripped off of this car when it was imported in order to keep the price low. A different stability control system (ours is not fully defeatable), 19" wheels replaced by 18", no option for DSG, no adjustable suspension, no LED tail lights, cheaper navigation unit, no rain sensing wipers, no rear back-up camera, no summer tire option... The R in Europe is $50,000 or more and they were able to put it on sale here starting at $34,000. So, while it's disappointing to lose some of the toys, we still get the same engine power and AWD and there are still a ton of toys left on it so it's definitely not that much of an issue. :)
 

Perc

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That sometimes happens when a European car gets "americanized". It's not just that care are cheaper because of lower taxes, it's also that they sometimes get cheaper tech put into them to place them in the price range where the customers expect them to be.
 

Perc

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It's a part of some light package I guess? With LED DRLs and whatnot.
 
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