Volkswagen's Golf R is an icon in the performance car world, starting off with the first iteration in the MK4 R32 and the subsequent models that follow in the 5th, 6th and 7th-generation Golfs, the nameplate has amassed legions of fans the world over. When the Golf 8R was announced many local enthusiasts shuffled finances, cashed in crypto and rearranged house loans in anticipation of the car hitting our shores. That was in November 2020. Since then, fanatics have been suffering a long wait for the car in SA, made even worse after missing the first proposed arrival in Q1 of 2022. All manner of reasons have been given, including the worldwide shortage of essential components and sought-after stock heading to other countries before SA. In all that time, pricing has only been speculated. At the time of the launch, the car was listed at a smidge over €50 000, or just over R880 000. That was quite palatable considering the other options in this class of car. Since then the Rand has tanked faster than the Titanic and the exchange rate doesn’t look set to get better any time soon. While I personally know loads of Golf R owners, sales to date in SA have amounted to almost 6 000 units sold, and while those are decent enough numbers, it puts SA way down on the waiting list. Well, it did. Volkswagen SA has just announced that the Golf 8R will be available from 25th April, but there’s no word on the numbers allocated to this market. The automaker also announced pricing for the car, and it’s eye-wateringly expensive.
First, a little about the car. The new Golf 8R features a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder that’s rated at a healthy 235 kW with an impressive 400 Nm of torque that allows the all-wheel drive hatchback to launch from standstill to 100 km/h in a quick 4.8 seconds and can run on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h - it’s the most powerful Golf to date. The 8R has a host of standard and optional features that in no particular order includes a panoramic sunroof, mobile inductive charging, keyless entry with safelock, 'Discover Pro' navigation system, Wireless App-Connect, and voice control, 19-inch Estoril wheels, Adaptive Chassis Control with driving profile selection, Nappa leather R sport seats, IQ.Light LED Matrix headlights, an Akrapovič R Performance exhaust, a Harman Kardon audio system, Heads-Up Display, Parallel Park Assist, Rear Assist with a rearview camera, Blind spot monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Assist, electronically folding side mirrors, Travel Assist with Lane Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control, an Autonomous Emergency Braking System an most importantly - drift mode. So what does all this cost? Well, The Golf 8R's recommended retail price is R912 800 ex VAT, and it comes standard with a 3-year/120,000 km warranty, a 5-year/100,000 km EasyDrive Maintenance Plan, and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. So in the absolute base spec, it’s R87 200 away from a cool million. But… if you add in the options that will make the car just right, that ONE MILLION RAND mark will most certainly be crossed. Remember when the Golf GTi was the poor man’s performance car? The agile, nippy and affordable performance car? The past is the past, because if you can R50 000 as a deposit and you get a normal 14.24 % interest rate, financing R1 010 000 will see you having to fork over 48 monthly instalments of a mere R 26 354. Add in insurance and you’re likely over R27 000 a month. I dunno about you, but that certainly extinguishes my aspirations…
Take a look at the YouTube video from the Golf 8R media launch (my invite must have gotten lost again) that took place a while back. Back then the car was merely revealed because of worldwide stock shortages they weren't able to bring in any stock of the car, and while there was plenty of interest the pricing was only just revealed. Take a look at what the media were treated to: R-Performance Media Launch Review | Volkswagen SA
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