The Volkswagen Golf R is the best wet weather performance car money can buy. At least that’s the deal according to British mag Autocar who has just published its results from a seven-car comparison.
Included in the test were (ranked in finishing order):
- Volkswagen Golf R
- Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
- Audi RS4 Avant
- Nissan GT-R
- Range Rover Sport
- MINI Cooper
- Toyota GT86
In the five tests conducted the Golf R finished no lower than fourth and came first in the Lateral G and Lap Time test. It also came second in the 30–0mph test. The cars were awarded points for each test (lowest score wins) and when they were all tallied up the Haldex V-equipped Golf R won the test by a single point from the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, which came first in three of the five tests (a full table of results is available below). So why didn’t the Porsche win overall?
The 911 finished first in so many tests that it could have won, such is its traction and the water displacement properties of its tyres. In lateral grip tests, however, that was less of an issue and its inherent rear-biased weight distribution unsettled it to the extent that the Golf R nips ahead of it. Strong everywhere – under acceleration, braking and laterally – the Golf R is the ideal way to make a car for wet conditions. It goes, stops and grips like no other.
But, the thing we enjoyed the most from this piece was the intro:
How entirely fitting it was that the day of this test was that day that always comes each autumn. You know the one. It’s Monday morning. You leave the house in darkness. It is pelting with rain. You know that you’ll not return before darkness. There is no question about it: you will need a decent coat, from this very day forward, until the return of spring.
Thank god for Australia!
What’s the best car in the wet?
- Autocar tests Britain’s love affair with sporty and performance models in the wet
- November, December and January wettest months of the year
The Volkswagen Golf R has been voted the best performance car to have in the wet according to Autocar magazine.
With November signalling the start of the three wettest months on the calendar, and a general decline in road conditions, driving a higher performance car can be something of a handful for many owners.
Last year, Britons bought 47,544 sports and performance cars, 3.1% up on 2012, with more than 12,191 cars with over 3.0-litre engines registered on the roads according to the SMMT.
Autocar brought together seven of the most popular performance models – MINI Cooper, Audi RS4, VW Golf R, Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, Range Rover Sport, Toyota GT86 and Nissan GT-R – to scientifically prove beyond doubt which model is the most assured in the wet.
Testers examined the capability and safety of each model over five separate challenges at manufacturer test facility at MIRA Proving Ground. Autocar left it to the discretion of the manufacturers which tyres their cars were shod with.
The popular sporty models were scrutinised on their control when stopping from motorway speeds of 70mph, their stability on accelerating and braking on ice-like conditions at lower speeds, the level of lateral grip when cornering and finally their precision around a circuit.
VW’s four-wheel-drive Golf R, which costs £31,970 and produces 296bhp, performed the best across all five tests, with the rear-wheel-drive £24,995, 197bhp Toyota GT86 the worst.
Running the VW Golf R close was the £88,400 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S with exception for the Lateral Grip tests where it’s rear-biased weight distribution unsettled its handling.
“Driving conditions can become hugely challenging very quickly for drivers of sportier and higher performance vehicles. It is very easy to get caught out,” explains Chas Hallett, editor-in-chief of Autocar.
“Advanced electronics certainly aid the driver, and winter tyres will improve grip, but drivers still need to drive within their limits and abilities, not the cars.”