A German gem - VW Golf R Cabriolet

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THERE’S nothing quite like driving through some of the most attractive English countryside on a sunny day at any time of the year in a convertible car with the roof down and when it is the fastest ever open top VW Golf it makes it something even more special and enjoyable writes Bryan Longworth.

THERE’S nothing quite like driving through some of the most attractive English countryside on a sunny day at any time of the year in a convertible car with the roof down and when it is the fastest ever open top VW Golf it makes it something even more special and enjoyable writes Bryan Longworth.

I was driving on interesting rural roads in Leicestershire around Stanton Hall stately home in the very fast VW Golf R Cabriolet which will only sell in the UK in limited numbers and which costs a rather hefty £38,770 on the road.

It was powered by the 2.0-litre 265bhp petrol engine driving the front wheels through a DSG six speed automatic gearbox and is the first ever open top R model - the electric hood comes down in just nine seconds at speeds of up to 18mph.

There is a limited top speed of 155mph and the German flyer takes just 6.4 seconds to reach 62mph but it is the way that this very hot Golf does the business that makes it so enjoyable.

It’s road holding qualities are among the best in the hot hatch world and the test car had amazing levels of grip as it hurtled around the beautiful rural areas just south of Leicester that include some really attractive villages surrounded by demanding country roads.

This particular Golf has a bespoke front bumper with gloss black grille and “R” logo, LED daytime running lights, bi-xenon headlights, a gloss black rear diffuser, black painted brake calipers with the “R” logo and the 19-inch and the black alloys looked really cool.

Inside the cabin there are four individual leather sports seats, pedals have brushed aluminium caps while the doors and dashboard feature black aluminium decorative decorative inlays.

As with all Golf Cabriolet models the R comes with automatically deploying rollover protection and the car has a five star Euro NCAP crash test safety rating for adult occupancy which is reassuring should the worst happen.

The car had the standard wind deflector which helped prevent any buffeting with the top down and the side windows up and overall the drive was most enjoyable and exhilerating aided by the excellent road holding qualities.

There was no evidence of scuttle shake with a high level of torsional rigidity and there is also minimal boot space intrusion when the fabric hood is folded with 250 litres of available space.

While the Golf R Cabriolet is expensive the cabriolet Golf range starts at the more affordable £21,325 for the entry level model with the 1.2-litre TSI engine and the GTI 2.0-litres with DSG gearbox costs £31,055.

The Golf R Cabriolet is not going to be a big seller because of its price but those fortunate owners who do get one will not be disappointed for it is a car that will provide a lot of enjoyment especially when the weather is suitable for stimulating open top motoring winter or summer.

My Verdict: A German gem.

Fact File

Model: VW Golf R Cabriolet.

Engine: 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol.

Output: 265bhp at 6000rpm.

Transmission: Six speed DSG automatic.

Top speed: 155mph.

Acceleration: Zero to 62mph 6.4 seconds.

Fuel consumption: 34.4mpg combined.

CO2 emissions: 190g/km.

Price: £38,770 on the road.