Find a car review

Make
Model

Revo Volkswagen Golf R review, price, specs and 0-60 time

Tuning specialist endows the top Golf with 371bhp - and 0-60mph in 3.7sec

Evo rating
  • Straight-line performance; braking; value
  • Tyres and suspension rob some useability

This is one of evo's favourite hot hatchbacks, the Volkswagen Golf R, given an extra injection of power and torque and a few visual upgrades courtesy of tuning firm Revo. The headline figure here is a 0-60mph sprint of 3.7 seconds – pure supercar performance just ten or fifteen years ago, and now available in a comfortable family hatchback.

Engine and performance

Incredibly, Revo’s upgrades comprise just a remap and a set of sticky tyres. On the best forecourt fuel the stage one software, which costs £719, lifts peak power from 296 to 371bhp, while torque climbs by 80 points to 360lb ft. This must be the cheapest way to crack 100mph in nine seconds in a new car.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

Since recording those ludicrous figures this demo car has been fitted with a high-flow intake kit (£359), Bilstein B16 adjustable coilovers (£1556) and meatier brakes (£2154), including four-pot Alcon calipers and Revo’s own ventilated discs. The tyres are Dunlop SP Sport Maxx Race (£267 each at blackcircles.com), which are about as uncompromising as road rubber gets.

The four-cylinder turbo engine still has that warbly, offbeat sound at idle evocative of old Subarus. Once on the move it makes the most remarkable range of snorting, hissing and rushing noises, sounding for all the world like a snoring dinosaur. The remap and intake kit give Volkswagen’s four-pot plenty of character, then, but also a broader, more muscular strength throughout the rev range.

What's it like to drive?

Those acceleration figures, though, are a little misleading. With four-wheel drive and those sticky tyres warmed through, the thing just bounces off the line, but that initial rate of launch acceleration – derived from traction as much as sheer power – doesn’t necessarily translate into supercar-baiting in‑gear performance.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Having said that, the Dunlops find so much purchase on a dry road that in point-to-point driving the Revo R might just give a Porsche 911 something to think about. They afford enormous turn-in and mid-corner grip, and they even give the steering – already excellent in the standard car – a heightened sense of precision and feel. However, they are totally unsuited to wet or greasy roads, the loss of grip being sudden and unannounced.

Rivals

The bigger brakes, meanwhile, go some way to answering one of the few criticisms of the factory Golf R – the lengthening of the middle pedal in sustained, hard use – since they resist fade more effectively and still return very crisp and transparent pedal feel. While the brakes are easy to recommend, the value of the Bilstein suspension depends rather more on personal preference.

There’s no doubt the more focused set-up improves the Golf R’s agility and precision, removing some of the roll and lean of the standard model. On smooth roads, that makes the car feel more alive and exciting, and although the ride quality in day-to-day driving is still acceptable, there is a loss of pliancy on rougher sections when pressing on. An uneven surface throws quite a lot of movement into the body, which makes the Revo Golf less effective than the standard car. It’s worth noting that the dampers on this car were set to medium, leaving scope to soften the set-up.

Anything else I need to know?

Revo’s engine and brake upgrades are easy to endorse; the extreme tyres and firmer suspension less so. There’s still more to come, though. The Revo guys are working on a stage two kit that will include an exhaust system, uprated intercooler and revised fuelling. Just in case 3.7 to 60 isn’t quick enough…

Price and release date

The Golf R itself starts at £29,990. Add Revo's and evo's extras and you're looking at £35,846.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1984cc, turbo
Power371bhp @ 5700rpm
Torque360lb ft @ 3000rpm
0-60mph (claimed)3.7sec
Top speed (estimated)160mph
MPGN/A
On saleNow
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Visit/volkswagen/golf/r
Volkswagen Golf R hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf R 2019 review

15 Aug 2019
Visit/mercedes/gle/201748/2019-mercedes-gle400d-review-a-worthy-original
Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Visit/porsche/porsche-911-carrera-4/201744/2019-porsche-911-carrera-4-and-carrera-4-cabriolet-detailed
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019

Most Popular

Visit/best-cars/201772/best-v8-cars-past-and-present-our-favourite-eights-and-the-cars-theyre-found-in
Best cars

Best V8 cars past and present – our favourite eights and the cars they’re found in

Whether it’s smooth and sophisticated or motorsport-like in its aggression, the V8 remains one of our favourite engine types, warts and all
20 Sep 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/golf/21122/volkswagen-golf-mk8-spied-near-free-of-camouflage-before-october-debut
Volkswagen Golf hatchback

Volkswagen Golf Mk8 spied near-free of camouflage before October debut

All-new eighth-generation Golf is only weeks away from its reveal – this is all you need to know.
18 Sep 2019
Visit/article/201613/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-picked-by-porsche
Sponsored

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - picked by Porsche

Goodyear has many close associations with premium global car brands, but being asked to develop a trackday tyre for Porsche's extreme 911 GT3 RS was a…
14 Aug 2019