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2021 Volkswagen Golf R Estate spied testing at Nürburgring

Hot VW Golf R Estate on sale shortly with more aggressive styling and 316bhp

The 2021 Volkswagen Golf R Estate has been spied testing again - this time at the Nürburgring in Germany, as it undergoes final fettling before its launch later this year.

The new hot estate - this time caught in the R department’s traditional blue paint - features the same deeper front bumper as the recently released five-door Golf R, incorporating a larger grille to help cool the tuned engine.

Bigger alloy wheels cover the R department’s trademark blue brake calipers, which clamp bigger discs, signifying an uprated braking system compared with the rest of the  Golf Estate line-up. This late-stage prototype has some chunkier side sills, too.

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At the rear the trademark Golf R quad-exit exhaust is housed in a more sculpted rear bumper. It’s almost certain that the five-door R’s optional Akrapovic exhaust system, which is a £3,100 option, will feature on the R Estate too.

The five-door Golf R uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 316bhp and 420Nm of torque.Coupled to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, it propels the regular R from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds. Given the increased size and therefore weight of the Estate, we expect it to be one or two tenths of a second slower, but performance should still be punchy.

Expect the same range of chassis adjustments for the Golf R Estate, including a 15mm drop in ride height compared with a regular Golf Estate. Torque vectoring at the rear axle for the 4MOTION four-wheel drive system should also feature, with a new set-up that can distribute torque between the rear wheels (as well as the usual front-rear variable split) to help improve agility.

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Volkswagen’s Vehicle Dynamics Manager – a feature fitted to all Mk8 performance Golfs so far – integrates the Golf R’s XDS electronic differential lock and the Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive dampers, which offer 15 different settings for the suspension, so expect it to feature here as well.

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On the Golf R hatch UK buyers can spec an R-Performance package, which increases the car’s top speed from an electronically limited 155mph to 168mph, and adds larger 19-inch wheels (18-inch alloys are standard), a bigger rear spoiler for more downforce, and two extra driving modes – including a Drift setting to make the most of the rear-axle technology as part of the four-wheel drive set-up.

The big benefit this Golf R Estate will bring is additional practicality. The regular Mk8 Golf Estate offers up 611 litres of luggage space but only comes in front-wheel-drive form. It’s not yet known if the 4MOTION system and associated multi-link rear suspension set-up will see this figure decrease slightly for the R, but there’ll still be plenty of room.

However, as you can see from our spy shots of this late prototype, the Golf R Estate also features a half roll cage. It’s not thought that this will be an option, rather a case of improving safety for VW’s test drivers as they put the R wagon through its paces around the Nurburgring.

The Golf R Estate is set to go on sale in the UK later this year, with prices starting from around £40,500.

Looking for a Mk7 Volkswagen Golf R? Check out our sister BuyaCar for the best deals...

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Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

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