Watch: The Golf R is the Chevy Small Block of Cars

We’re close to having to say goodbye to the Mk7 Golf, so it’s a good time to look back at what made it such a special car. Especially within these forums.

Car Magazine spent 8 minutes trying to answer what it is about the R that makes it so special and we think they might have done it. It all comes down to it being a bit less wild out of the box than other hot hatches.

There’s a common refrain among journalists that even though the Golf R is great, it’s a little less raucous than its competition. But what if that’s exactly why it’s so adored by its fans.

It’s not simply that the EA888 is an eminently tunable engine, from which an extra 70 hp can easily be drawn with a simple tune, it’s that the car is as much a platform for tuners as it is a hot hatch.

Chiptunes are relatively easy these days, but the Golf R’s Haldex AWD drive system means that loads of power can get down to the road easily. The tight, neutral chassis means that even with gobs of extra power, you don’t really need to do anything to the car to keep it drivable. But you could and that wouldn’t be hard either.

The Golf R is the Chevy small block of cars. The fact that it’s impressive on its own isn’t really the end of the story. What makes it so widely loved is much better it can get.