Friday Photo #15 – Volkswagen R and R

The most powerful production Golf, ever, is due to hit the UK in only a matter of weeks for its March launch date. Which, if the past few years are anything to go by, will probably be combined with freezing snow and ice. Perhaps that’s why VW chose to show the new Mk7 Golf R off on a frozen lake. It does at least make for some impressive drifts:

Der neue Volkswagen Golf R

There it is, in all it’s 295 bhp goodness going very, very sideways. Car manufacturers have a strange habit of launching cars to the motoring media in snowy conditions. It makes for impressive pictures like the above, and shows off the traction from a 4WD setup like that fitted to the Golf R. But it can also mask the real character of a car, as anyone has driven on snow will know that it feels nothing like driving on regular tarmac.

To be honest, for EngageSportMode, the Golf R sliding around paled into significance when news began to emerge of a confirmed Polo R model. No, not last year’s WRC homologation special, but a genuine R with around 250 bhp, a 4WD system and a trick multilink rear suspension. For ESM this is kind of a big deal; a version of our R-Line but with more than double the power, double the driven wheels and quadruple the silliness.

Performance for the Polo R is suggested to be 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph from the 2.0 litre turbo engine. Pretty serious stats for a supermini, I’m sure you’ll agree. Best of all? A rumoured list price of £21,000, although ESM is a little sceptical of how realistic that is, given the current Polo GTI comes in at £20k.

Providing it comes in at under £25k, we could be looking at a serious hero car for the Polo model range, and the whole VW brand, with a vehicle able to tie into the recent WRC success. It comes somewhat out of the blue, and squares up strongly to the VAG in-house rival in the shape of the forthcoming Audi S1 which will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Strangely, although the S1 will share lots of mechanicals with the Polo R, it’ll make do with 20 bhp less.

All this will surely be squared up and clarified in the coming months, but for the time being we’re excited. Really excited. Watch this space!

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