2019 Volkswagen Golf R Specs, Release Dates, Prices

Since 2015, the Golf R has set a high bar for performance, comfort and style in the U.S. sport compact segment. Every model year, Volkswagen has brought significant upgrades to the Golf R, and for 2019 those changes make it even more attractive.


NEW FOR 2019

  • The 2019 Volkswagen Golf R is available in one trim — Golf R with DCC® and Navigation.

  • A new special color program is available for model year 2019, offering 40 custom order colors—many of which are heritage colors from Volkswagen enthusiast models (the existing five colors remain available for series production).

  • A Black Wheel package is now available, featuring 19-inch gloss-black aluminum-alloy wheels.

  • Pricing for the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R with DCC and Navigation and a standard six-speed manual transmission starts at $40,395. The seven-speed DSG® automatic transmission starts at $41,495. The destination charge for all Golf R models is an additional $895.


The 2019 Volkswagen Golf R features a bumper design with large air inlets and a modified radiator grille that sports an “R” logo. The LED headlights feature LED daytime running lamps with a sharp visual signature unique to the Golf lineup, and the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) turns the beams with the car’s steering inputs, helping to bolster visibility.

From the side, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R is characterized by 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 225/40 or 235/35 summer performance tires, black brake calipers with the “R” logo, body-color unique side skirts, “R” badges on the front fenders, and black painted door mirror caps. At the rear, details that define the Golf R include LED taillights, an “R” design diffuser, four chrome tailpipes, and an “R” logo on the hatch.


The 2019 Volkswagen Golf R is equipped with front sport seats with 12-way power adjustment for the driver and leather seating surfaces with “R” logo embroidering. A flat-bottom, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel integrates a chrome “R” logo on its lower cross bar, along with contrast stitching. The decorative inlays of the dashboard and door trim panels feature the “Carbon Touch” design; the doorsill kickplates, pedals, and foot support are designed with a stainless-steel look.

Additional standard features include: KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, Climatronic® automatic dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and ambient lighting integrated in the door trim panels.

Behind the steering wheel of every 2019 Volkswagen Golf R sits the fully digital and interactive Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. With this system, all instruments are virtually implemented on the high-resolution 12.3-inch color screen. There are different information profiles which change the type of information displayed and the graphics in certain areas. Information can be integrated on driving, navigation and performance, or data from the entertainment system.


The 2019 Volkswagen Golf R features one of the most powerful four-cylinder production engines in the world. The advanced EA888 four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® 2.0-liter engine puts out 288 hp (achieved with premium fuel), delivered at 5,500 rpm. Maximum torque is 280 lb-ft, available over a broad speed band from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm. To attain this output, the Golf R model’s 1,984-cc engine was subjected to a motorsports-style development program. The following components were modified or completely redesigned compared to the GTI engine: the cylinder head (together with exhaust valves, valve seats, and springs), pistons, high-pressure injection system, and turbocharger.

The 2019 Volkswagen Golf R model’s EA888 series engine has innovative engineering solutions such as water-cooled exhaust gas channels running through the cylinder head to the turbocharger to help efficiently reduce full-load fuel consumption. Thanks to its fully-electronic coolant control system, the Golf R TSI engine has more efficient thermal management with a reduced warm-up phase that help reduce frictional losses and fuel consumption. In addition, the TSI engine has variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust sides, as well as two-stage exhaust-valve lift. This helps enable greater control of the charge exchange process for improved performance and efficiency.

Golf R models with the seven-speed DSG automatic also feature a Stop-Start System designed to help save fuel in idle conditions; the motor restarts when the driver touches the accelerator. When equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R achieves an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 21 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg in combined driving. When equipped with the optional seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings are 23 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg in combined driving.


All 2019 Volkswagen Golf R models are equipped with the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. The latest-generation 4Motion system is activated before wheelspin occurs, helping eliminate traction losses. The system achieves this by using an advanced control function based on specific driving conditions. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, the front wheels are driven and the rear wheels are decoupled, helping to save fuel. However, the rear wheels can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary via the center differential, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.

A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates in proportion to the torque desired at the rear axle. So, the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to continuously vary the amount of torque going between the front and rear wheels, up to a maximum of 50 percent at the rear axle.

In addition to the center differential that acts longitudinally, electronic differential locks that are a function of the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system act laterally. The system can briefly brake a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side.


To help protect occupants, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard (front and side airbags for front passengers and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions), along with a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

A standard feature on the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R is the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this, in certain crash scenarios, by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus potentially reducing residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.

All Golf R models feature a standard rearview camera. The Golf R also includes Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions.

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