Volkswagen’s updated Golf R gets a power boost and subtle styling tweaks

best sleeper cars
Last month, Volkswagen unveiled an updated version of its bestselling Golf hatchback, and now the range-topping Golf R performance model is getting the same tweaks, plus more power.

The Golf R continues to use an uprated version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine fitted to the less-extreme GTI. But it now produces 305 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, up from 292 hp and 280 lb-ft in the previous version. Power is sent to all four wheels through six-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch automated transmissions.

With the extra power, Volkswagen says the reinvigorated Golf R will do 0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds with the DSG transmission, an improvement of about 0.3 second over the previous version. Expect the acceleration time for the manual-transmission to drop from the current 5.3 seconds as well.

Like other versions of the venerable hatchback, the updated Golf R also gets some styling changes. However, only true Golf experts will be able to spot the differences. Volkswagen says the grille and front fenders on all Golf models are new, and LED taillights are now standard across the board. The Golf wasn’t exactly a bad-looking car to begin with, so major styling changes weren’t really necessary.

The Golf R will probably get at least some of the new tech features previously announced for other Golf models. These include the Active Info Display that replaces the analog gauge cluster with a 12.3-inch digital display, and Discover Pro infotainment system, featuring a 9.2-inch touchscreen and gesture controls.

The rest of the updated Golf lineup will go on sale next year, with the Golf R likely following the more mainstream models. The Golf comes in many flavors, including the basic hatchback, the electric e-Golf, the Golf R and GTI performance models, and the Golf SportWagen and Alltrack wagons.

Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Computing

After rocky start, Windows 10 October 2018 update is finally available to all

The Windows 10 October 2018 update is now available for everyone to download. After a serious bug derailed its initial release, the update is back and users are now able to check for it through Windows Update.
Cars

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.
Computing

Hitting ‘Check for updates’ in Windows 10 opts you into beta releases

Users who are careful about keeping their system updated should watch out -- Microsoft revealed this week that clicking the Check for updates button in Windows can opt you in to testing beta code.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.
Cars

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.
Cars

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.
Cars

Lincoln revives its coolest-ever design feature for limited-edition Continental

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Product Review

Ford’s reincarnated Ranger feels like a car that does everything a truck can do

The 2019 Ford Ranger aims to be a tool for weekend adventures, and goes head-to-head with midsize pickup trucks from Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. Ford hasn’t sold the Ranger in the United States since 2011, so it has to make up…