Volkswagen Golf R, Golf Sportsvan and e-Golf: 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

Volkswagen Golf R, Golf Sportsvan and e-Golf: 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

VW Released Three Very Different Golfs at the Frankfurt Show


Volkswagen could have replaced the immaculate white tile floor with a layer of fine Kentucky bluegrass, as the theme of this year's Frankfurt auto show was Golf. The automaker officially launched the Golf R, the e-Golf and the definitely not for America, Golf Sportsvan.

First, the interesting one. The 2013 Golf R is VW's "all-wheel-drive flagship" packing an impressive 296 horsepower (300ps) and 280 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 62 mph takes just 4.9 seconds with the DSG and 5.1 when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. While this all seems like a nice upgrade from the previous Golf R (who's going to argue with more power?) one thing we're especially excited about with this hi-po Golf is that, finally, you can fully disable the traction control system. Previous performance Golfs like the GTI had highly restrictive stability control systems that cut in just as the dance got fun. Not anymore. Not with the R.

The Volkswagen Golf R is equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, standard bi-xenon lights with LED DRLs, red LED rear lights and quad exhaust tips. Expect the Golf R to officially drop in the fourth quarter and for it to come to the U.S.... later. Much later.

Volkswagen Golf R

Next up on the show stand was the "we have to build this because the government says so" e-Golf. It exists and will likely come to the U.S. Moving on?

The final installment of the Volkswagen Golf Trilogy at Frankfurt was the Golf Sportsvan. This definitely-not-for-America "near-production concept car" is simply not something that we would buy in any significant volume. Longer than a regular Golf by 3.3 inches and with more cargo space, the Sportsvan is the type of car that Europeans would consider big enough for active days out, but still small enough to navigate cramped city streets. It packs several unique features like a rear seat that slides 7 inches, blind-spot monitor, lane assist, driver alert with emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

Power comes from a range of engines, including four turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline motors and three turbodiesels. Output ranges from 84 hp to a whopping 148.

Expect this big VW Golf to be confirmed shortly, but to drop the Sportsvan name.

Specifications: Golf R

Base Price: $35,000 (est)
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged I4
Gearbox: Six-speed manual/DSG
Power: 300 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque
Fuel Mileage: N/A
Dimensions: N/A

Specifications: e-Golf

Base Price: N/A
Engine: 60 kW electric motor
Gearbox: Direct drive
Power: 113 horsepower
Fuel Mileage: N/A
Dimensions: N/A

Specifications: Sportsvan

Base Price: N/A
Engine: 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline, 1.6-liter turbodiesel
Gearbox: Manual or DSG
Power: 84 to 148 horsepower
Fuel Mileage: N/A
Dimensions: 172.8 by 71.1 by 62.1 inches

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