We were in Pekan, Pahang over the weekend for the launch of the CKD Volkswagen Passat by DRB-Hicom and VW, and while all the attention was on the PM and Passat, we spotted a rather appealing sideshow in a corner – Volkswagen’s R cars!

Last week, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia announced the availability of its high performance R cars for the first time in Malaysia. To start things, they have brought in the Golf R and the Passat CC R-Line. Both cars are are performance flagships for their respective families and are fruits of Volkswagen R GmbH, VeeDub’s performance division.

Let’s focus on the Golf R for now. This successor to the Mk5 R32 has a downsized engine. It no longer uses a V6, but a four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0 TSI that makes 255 PS and 330 Nm from 2,400 to 5,200 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox and power is channeled to the wheels via VW’s 4MOTION AWD system.

0-100 km/h is done in just 5.7 seconds on to a limited 250 km/h top speed. Fuel consumption is 13.4% better than the R32 at 8.4 litres per 100 km.

The RM268,888 Golf is only available as a five-door here, like the GTI. Goodies include Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC), internally ventilated discs all around with R brake calipers, ESP with delayed intervention, 19-inch Talladega alloys with 235/35 tyres, bi xenons with dynamic cornering lamps, trademark central tailpipes and the really cool looking “Motorsport Bucket Seats”.

Golf GTI owners also won’t recognise the instrument’s blue needles, and the push start button. The latter is unusually located where the key normally goes in, which explains why it sports some scratches in the display car!