The Mk8 Golf R is just as potent as its ancestors, and even though it’s still so new the paint is barely dry, tuning houses have already jumped on it to make it even hotter. Here’s our pick of the best modifications to spice up your VW Golf R Mk8.
When VW first released its range-topping Golf R variant in 2010, it proved exactly how capable a hot hatch could be. Fast, classy, comfortable, practical and fun in equal measure, there was nothing it couldn’t do and it soon became one of the country’s most desirable cars. Packing a 267bhp 2.0-litre engine, the option of a DSG twin-clutch or manual transmission and the excellent Haldex 4Motion four-wheel drive system as standard, it was a significant step up in class and performance from VW’s previous R-badged Golf the Mk5 R32. Available as either a three or five-door it could be as discreet as you wanted it to be, but also made a cracking base for tuning and modifications.
The Mk7 R carried on the trend and raised power to 296bhp, while the very latest Mk8 model ramps things up even further to 316bhp with a meaty 310lb ft of tyre-shredding torque. This equates to a claimed – and likely conservative – 0-62mph sprint time of 4.7 seconds and on to an electronically-limited 155mph, although you now only get five doors to choose from and there’s no manual gearbox either.
No matter though, because with a few waves of the tuning wand, you won’t care how many doors the car has, or that you’re lacking a third pedal, because a tuned R is truly a serious piece of kit. So, to give you an idea of some of the mods that are already available for this uber-new model, take a gander opposite, as we highlight the upgrades we would make if it were our car, and our cash on the line…
Goodridge Braided Hoses
If you’re looking for a modification that can make a big difference to your R’s performance, yet not break the bank, then look no further than a set of Goodridge braided hoses. The PTFE-line stainless steel lines resist the ‘ballooning’ that can happen with stock rubber hoses and ensure a much firmer and more direct and predictable feel when you hit the brake pedal. Coming with top quality stainless steel fittings, they offer increased corrosion protection too. Available a wide variety of colours means you can even mix or match them to your car’s colour scheme.
Price: from £35.83
Tarox Disc and Pad Upgrade
VW’s R-branded Golfs have always been up there with the hottest of hot hatches, and the Mk8 looks set to continue that trend. It also looks like it will respond just as well as its forebears to tuning, meaning the standard stoppers may soon be left wanting when the power curve begins to skyrocket. With this in mind, Tarox has developed a set of uprated 356mm fully-floating discs and performance pads for the latest R, which combine solid billet construction and grooved faces for maximum stopping power and minimum weight. Used in conjunction with a set of Strada road pads, or Corsa track pads, which provide greater bite and improved endurance, even at elevated temperatures, and you’ve got a Golf that’ll stop like it’s hit a brick wall.
Price: £970 (discs), £178 (pads)
Milltek Sport Exhaust System
The range-topping R may have a more roarty soundtrack than the humble GTi, but it can still be enhanced further with a suitably free-flowing exhaust system such as those from Milltek Sport. The Midlands-based pipework gurus have developed a range of exhaust options for the new Mk8 R that will liberate not only the 2.0-litre engine’s sound potential, but maximise its performance potential too. A range of cool tailpipe options are also available to tailor the look of the system to your car too.
Price: from TBA
Rotiform LAS-R Wheels
Like most modern hot hatches, the latest Golf R can swallow some sizeable hoops under its cavernous arches and a set of 8.5 x 19in Rotiform LAS-Rs should be no problem to fit. The 18 slim spokes are made using cast monoblock construction and feature an additional bracing ring that runs through them and offers a cool look, plus exceptional strength, meaning these radical rims will not buckle under pressure. Available in either gloss silver or matt black, they are a classy option for any Golf, but would suit the range-topping R to a tee. We just don’t fancy cleaning them much!
Price: From £1272.48
Air Lift Air Ride
The Golf R has great handling out of the box, but to make the most of the discreet looks, a decent drop is required to ensure your flashy new rims have a suitably snug place to call home. Coilovers are the obvious option, but with today’s potholed and speed bump strewn roads, what you gain in chassis dynamics and good looking lows, you lose in practicality and ride comfort. You can retain the best of both worlds though, with an Air Lift Performance air-ride kit. An off the shelf solution is available for the Mk8 R starting at £3169.99 for a pressure-based 3P system using performance front struts and Slam rear bags. This base level kit will go from laying frame to monster truck at the press of a button. For those that want a more control, you can opt for the £3519.99 3H system, which offers both pressure and height based control, which will automatically adjust to keep your car level and at the prescribed height. Clever stuff!
Price: From £3169.99