Blue Volkswagen Golf R on a race track.

Volkswagen R

From the track to the grocery run, the Volkswagen R represents the highest performing vehicles in the Volkswagen portfolio. The New Zealand market has a number of R models that are worth taking for a spin – although you may find yourself heading straight for the track and never looking back.

Blue Volkswagen R badge close up.
Blue Volkswagen R badge close up

History of the Volkswagen R Brand

Introduced in 2002, the R models have offered a combination of high performance, style, and usability, wrapped up in some of the favourite Volkswagen models. The first R model was a Volkswagen Golf which made its debut as the first production car with dual-clutch gearbox (DSG). The vehicle was unexpectedly popular, so they released the Golf R in the United States and Australia in 2004. The vehicle has remained an object of desire ever since.

Volkswagen Tiguan R
Volkswagen Tiguan R

R Models of the Past

The beloved R has made a splash more than once, with a few models that have stood out as fan favourites.

Black Volkswagen Golf R R32 Mk4 2002

Volkswagen Golf R32 – 2002

The Volkswagen Golf was the first vehicle to go “R”, in 2002. The vehicle included every performance, safety, and luxury feature that Volkswagen had to offer. With a flash appearance and great performance, the Volkswagen Golf R marked the beginning of a new era.

Volkswagen Passat R36 2008

Volkswagen Passat R35 – 2008

The Volkswagen Passat R unveiled in 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, to a captive audience. Featuring redesigned front and rear spoilers, 4WD, DSG gearbox, 18″ alloys, and twin rear muffler tailpipes, the Passat was a sight to see.

White Volkswagen Golf R 2014

Volkswagen Golf R – 2014

In 2014, the Golf R saw some impressive updates — namely a turbocharged EA888 petrol FSI Inline-four engine. The features on this zippy Golf felt endless, and cemented the Golf’s flagship status for the brand.

Photo credit: M9

Blue Volkswagen Tiguan R

Volkswagen Tiguan R 2022

The Tiguan R made its debut overseas in 2020, but the Tiguan R will grace New Zealand shores in 2022. With a new 2.0L turbo-charged inline-4 that delivers 235kW and 420Nm, this SUV isn’t messing around. Lowered suspension, updated brakes, and a “race” setting for driving makes the Tiguan a must have for anyone looking for performance and space.

Images are overseas models. New Zealand spec may vary.

Volkswagen Tiguan R wheel close up.

What Makes a Volkswagen R Vehicle Special?

Today, the updated ‘R’ badge denotes a sports or high-performance model. The coveted R typically sits on the grille, front fenders, and trunk, offering many opportunities to showcase the vehicle’s status.

Each R model varies, but most boast an impressive list of features that make it stand out in the crowd. Most have 4MOTION (AWD) and available DSG (Dual Clutch gearbox), giving it ultimate, street-legal power.  From body suspension kits to expressive trim and accent colours on the interior, the R model is guaranteed to turn heads from the inside out.

What’s the Difference Between an R Model and an R-Line?

The R is all about performance, with a side of good looks. When Volkswagen caught on to the fact that customers loved the sporty looks of the R models, but didn’t necessarily care about the power, they started offering some models in an R-Line. Typically, R-Lines will be on the same chassis as the base models, but include upgraded front and rear bumpers, a rear spoiler, a badge, larger wheels, and other upgrades. If you’re not fussed about performance, this is a good option for a slick looking vehicle.

Blue Volkswagen Golf R on race track

Arriving to New Zealand Soon — Volkswagen R Models

Blue Volkswagen Golf R parked on a mountaintop with snow covered mountains in the background.

Volkswagen Golf R

Expected arrival — January 2022

Please note: images shown are overseas models. New Zealand spec may vary. 

Blue Volkswagen Tiguan driving down a forest road.

Volkswagen Tiguan R

Expected arrival — January 2022

Please note: images shown are overseas models. New Zealand spec may vary. 

Blue Volkswagen Touareg R driving down a forested road.

Volkswagen Touareg R

Expected arrival — late 2022

Please note: images shown are overseas models. New Zealand spec may vary. 

Blue Volkswagen T-Roc R parked in a city at night.

Volkswagen T-Roc R

Expected arrival — late 2022

Please note: images shown are overseas models. New Zealand spec may vary. 

Make an enquiry on the Volkswagen R Range

For further information on the Volkswagen R range and to be kept in the loop on when these models will arrive in the showroom, fill in the form below to register your interest and one of our friendly team will be in touch.

    Please select all model ranges of interest.

Overseas models shown, New Zealand spec may vary.