Launched in February this year, the Mk8 iteration of the Volkswagen Golf R was rolled out in a bit of a surprise move alongside the local market debut for the Golf GTI as well as opening of orders for the Golf 1.4 TSI R-Line.

The Golf R stands out from within the trio of eighth-generation Golfs in being a fully imported model, whereas the GTI and the TSI R-Line are locally assembled cars from Pekan, Pahang.

This becomes apparent not least in its pricing; while the Golf TSI and GTI variants are priced marginally lower than their respective Mk7.5 predecessors, the Mk8 Golf R is priced at RM357,584 on-the-road with the ongoing SST exemption, or substantially more than the RM295,990 commanded by the Mk7.5 Golf R.

That said, the Mk8 Golf R does come with a stacked specifications list. In terms of powertrain, the latest AWD hot hatch from the brand packs the EA888 2.0 litre turbocharged inline-four cylinder petrol rated to produce 320 PS and 400 Nm of torque; the latter is slightly lower than in other markets where the Golf R is also sold.

Driveline is a a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic and 4Motion AWD, enabling the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.8 seconds and top speed is limited to 250 km/h.

The 4Motion driveline now offers greater variance in torque distribution through R-Performance Torque Vectoring, with a rear differential that can send up to 100% of rear axle output to an outside wheel in order to improve agility.

Also on deck to aid torque distribution via braking is the XDS electronic differential lock system, controlled by the onboard Vehicle Dynamics Manager which offers four drive modes – Comfort, Sport, Race and Individual. Meanwhile, rolling stock for the Malaysian-market Golf R is a set of 19-inch Adelaide alloy wheels shod in 235/35 tyres.

Inside, the Golf R builds upon the Mk8 Golf interior architecture with a 10-inch Discover Pro infotainment touchscreen, with support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, while the driver gets a configurable, fully digital instrument panel. Climate control is by a three-zone automatic setup, and in-cabin lighting comes courtesy of ambient lighting with five presets, as well as automatic headlamps, wipers, self-dimming rear view mirror and heated side mirrors.

Creature comforts in the Mk8 Golf R continue with the offering of an electrically adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment and memory settings, joined by Nappa leather upholstery and a 480-watt Harman Kardon 10-speaker sound system.

Imported and sold through Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia, the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf R is supported by a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and five years of roadside assistance. This also comes with three years of free maintenance, while service intervals are every 15,000 km.