2014 Los Angeles Auto Show: Volkswagen Golf R Variant

Nov 18, 2014 06:00 PM EST | Jeff Jablansky

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In addition to showing the show-stopping Golf R 400 and GTI Roadster at the Los Angeles auto show, Volkswagen unveiled a third permutation of the modular Golf platform: the Golf R Variant, aka The Wagon We Must Have.

What is it?

Remember the Jetta Sportwagen? This is the five-door version of the seventh-generation Golf, which carries on the European Variant nameplate. The Golf R is one rung more powerful than the standard GTI, with a 296-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. Volkswagen is billing it as the ultimate, do-anything Golf R, which can take on the track as deftly as it can the grocery errands.

What's new or changed?

This is the first time we're seeing the Golf R Variant, and color us impressed. More squared-off than the current Jetta Sportwagen, the Variant bodywork suits the Golf R treatment—which means LEDs all around, bespoke wheels and stickier tires, and the letter R pasted all around. A 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission remains, as does the Golf R's lowered suspension. A top speed of 155 mph puts it among the elite class of wagons around the world.

Can I buy it?

Not yet. The Golf R Variant will go on sale on the Continent in spring of 2015, but there are no firm plans to bring it to the United States yet. Here's hoping that the bean counters in Herndon and Wolfsburg change their minds. Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen R has a nice ring to it.

Auto World News is in Los Angeles covering the auto show. Check back throughout the week for updates on the latest debuts and concept cars.

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