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The Volkswagen Golf R Variant has made its world debut at the 2014 Los Angeles motor show, marking the first time a Golf R has been introduced in the form of a wagon. Discounting the aesthetic changes, the Volkswagen Golf R Variant arrives with pretty much the same drivetrain hardware as its hatchback sibling.

In front, a redesigned R-specific bumper sporting larger air intakes and xenon headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights complete the look. Moving along, the Golf R Variant comes with 18-inch Cadiz wheels wrapped in 225/40 tyres as standard with the option of 19-inch Cadiz and Pretoria design wheels.

Der neue Volkswagen Golf R Variant

At the back, a new bumper with integrated black diffuser and four chrome exhaust pipes ensure that other road users think twice before attempting to tailgate this particular wagon. “Aero flaps” on the D-pillars, stylised rear lamps and LED number plate lighting complete the look.

Inside, the seats are swathed in a mixture of fabric and Alcantara® with a smattering of R logos. A Nappa Carbon leather package is available and replaces nearly all the fabric with remnants of deceased bovine. Cargo space is quoted at 605 litres with 1,620 litres possible once the 60:40 rear seats are folded down.

As a reminder, the 2.0 litre, EA888 turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 296 hp from 5,500 rpm to 6,200 rpm and 380 Nm of torque from 1,800 rpm to 5,500 rpm. The TSI mill features direct injection and variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust side. Fuel consumption is rated at 14.3 km/l.

Transferring the power to all four corners via the 4Motion all-wheel drive system is VW’s six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. The latest reiteration of the 4Motion system comes with a Haldex®5 coupling feature that enables the rear axle to be disengaged under low loads to save fuel.

Additional driver tech is available in the form of electronic stability control (ESC) with a two-stage setting, ‘ESC Sport’ – which allows for a higher threshold – and the option to completely disable the system altogether. Exclusive to the Golf R Variant is the Driving Profile Selector feature.

The system enables the driver to tailor the car’s settings from a range of five options which include Eco, Normal, Individual, Comfort and Race. The Individual selection allows the driver to customise each parameter to his/her liking while Eco mode disengages the DSG under minimal throttle loads.