In theory, fake engine sounds suck. In reality, they're a function of modern cars being so quiet when you're cruising. I'd rather have real, mechanical engine noise, but that makes it hard to sell cars... so manufacturers play tricks like this. (BMW's doing it on the N20-powered (4-cylinder) Z3 and, more famously, on the M5. Don't blame 'em - I unplugged the speakers on the M5 and it was way too quiet.)
I don't mind the Golf R's SoundAktor. What I mind is the stupid Beetle Turbo and Jetta GLI, which make 5-cylinder noises. Still haven't gotten an explanation from VWoA on that.
Meanwhile, seriously, no ESP OFF on the US-spec Golf R? I wanted to crash that thing into a wall because of it. Truth is my eyes welled up with tears when I handed in the keys to that Golf R. But I won't buy one until VW gives the option to fully disable ESP.
Hope you guys enjoyed the video. And more importantly - enjoy your Rs. I'm jealous.
Senior Editor / Wicked Witch of the West
1987 VW Scirocco 16V (2.0 16V)
1989 VW Cabriolet (2.0 16V)
1985 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 (I have a thing for 16-valves, huh?)
1990 BMW 325i (2.7)
>> Senior Editor, Road & Track Magazine...
I watched the whole video in mute (I'm at work), but its pretty obvious the main knock against the R is the non-defeatable ESC.
Frankly that is my only real disappointment with the R. I don't even plan on tracking my car but it would still have been nice to know that I have the option to drive nanny free.
Hopefully, someone will be able to come up with a way to turn off ESC.
The tuners should be able to get their hands on a Canadian R and compare the software. Do any of the Canadian R owners on this forum want to volunteer?
I haven't watched the video yet, as I'm at work. but I use to own a '10 EVO MR touring, it will be interesting if I agree with the video, but my personal opinion, is these two cars don't compare as one is manual and the other DSG, the R is a well balanced all around vehicle were my EVO was a sports/performance car in sedan clothing. I have a lot of respect for the EVO, but for a daily driver I prefer my new R.
A few comments:
- The Evo X MR or SE Touring is a stupid car. The GSR is the only Evo for this generation.
- Nevertheless he totally nailed the Evo. He gets it, the good and the bad. Nothing else to say.
- The lack of ESC defeat on the R is just ****ing stupid. We as R fans and owners shouldn't be making weak sauce excuses for it. Its just a big honking ridiculous problem.
Thankfully, I won't be tracking the R as its just too expensive for me to risk on the track. That was actually true for me about the Evo X as well. I'll go buy a high mile VIII with a bunch of mods and put that on the track instead and enjoy the R with ESC enabled, with its wonderful demeanor on public roads.
I can appreciate your POV, but here's the real question. If the ESP was fully disabled, is the R faster around the track? Or is it just that in this car, driving rally style, throwing the car into the corner and powering through simply is off the table as a option? I've yet to see anyone on these pages talk about ponying up the 10Gs for some Ohlins and heading to the Maine woods. So while it might be a valid criticism that some of the fun has been capped, its not at all clear to me, particularly given the admittedly flawed C&D track testing results, that the car's lap times are in any real sense compromised on track given the inability to defeat ESP.
I'd agree with you that its a shame we won't get the opportunity to explore the car fully unless someday we find a way to defeat ESP. But in my case, the car likely will never see a track. I have a dedicated car for that purpose, and frankly no fresh from the factory road with or without ESP will ever be comparable in the slightest to it. And so, the first half of your review is spot on and all that really matters to me. Personally, while I fully understand the desire to acquire a single road car capable serious track work, in the end I've yet to meet a car that has reasonably managed the compromises and been good enough at either.
It would be nice to make our own decisions on ESP enablement, but I think we all know that for better or worse those days are rapidly drawing to a close here in the US. I suspect that in the very near future those who decide that nannie disabling is a make or break decision will have to be satisfied with buying used.
Again, terrific review. After watching I'd simply suggest you buy the R and use the extra 8Gs for a beat up spec Miata.
2012 R CW 2DR
2011 F150 SCrew 5.0
2000 911 C2 Aero Brumos Special Edition 'B59'
1970/73 911 RSR residing within a 2011 ATC 24 ft VNose
Ok, I finally watched the video, the only faults, I see in his review is he compares price on out the door and not MSRP, or the fact that I picked up my same spec'd EVO for 37k in Nov of 09 the week they released the touring in the US and that Mitsubishi doesn't make microwaves or if they do they don't sell them in the US. Is the interior on the R nicer looking and of better quality than the EVO, he'll yes, but with the leather interior in the EVO it's definitely nicer looking than the cloth, and the car is a joy to drive on such a different level than any other car at its price, you quickly forget to complain and hands down Mitsubishi's navigation system is a lot better than the one that is available in the R. The mfi in the EVO is full color and tells you exactly which wheels are getting how much power. I agree that the manual in the R is more enjoyable to drive than the dual clutch sst in the EVO, but the EVO's transmission is technically better and can shift faster than any man ever could, it is truly one of the best dcts out there at any price, but IMO any dct leaves you somewhat unattached to the vehicle and I think it is safe to say, that we all here what to be completely involved when driving a car.
I think the fact that I drive an R now and not an EVO says more about me than it does about either car.
Engineer @ TriMech Solutions | Certified SolidWorks Expert
Form Engineer & Weldor @ Advanced Armament Corporation
2012 Golf R & 1982 Jetta Coupe
I never did track days to be the fastest car out there, or even to get the fastest possible time from my car – to that I could just hand the keys to a better driver. We’re not getting paid for lap times, we’re out there for fun and to learn to drive faster.
I did all my track days in a ’95 325i which had only traction control, not ESP – and I turned that off. Knowing you’re one mistake away from a concrete wall makes you more cautious, and probably a safer driver. It’s not like ESP can protect you from all mistakes.