Volkswagen is launching the most powerful and fastest ever Golf - and the good news for user choosers is its relatively low emissions.
The Golf R uses an uprated version of the four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-litre engine found in the previous GTI model and effectively replaces the old R32 model in the line-up.
It produces 270bhp - 20bhp more than the R32 did - although fuel economy is much more impressive at 33.2mpg instead of 26.4mpg and CO2 emissions are reduced from 257g/km on the R32 to 199g/km.
It means that, relative to the R32, the Golf R falls by eight benefit-in-kind tax bands, liable for tax at 27 per cent of its value during 2009/10 (28 per cent for 2010/11) compared with 35 per cent for the R32.
The model has a four-wheel drive system and six-speed DSG automatic, allowing it to accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds - quicker than the front-wheel drive 300bhp Ford Focus RS.
The R is distinguished from the current GTI model with larger bumpers, standard LED daytime running lights and twin central exhaust pipes at the rear.
It will go on sale in December 2009 and is expected to be priced at about £28,000.