Ongoing semiconductor shortages may prove a blessing in disguise for those chasing a new Mk8 Volkswagen Golf R hatch or wagon over the first few months of sales, starting from April.

Lack of chips in the supplier chain means the company has temporarily removed the high-end Harman Kardon sound system from the standard feature list, and in so doing cut the price of affected vehicles by $1000.

Volkswagen Group Australia said it last week learned that the temporary unavailability of the standard Harman Kardon systems due to the global chip shortage could “effectively freeze production by several months”.

By making the feature an option, it can thereby import “steady supply” of Golf Rs in the interim without the pumped-up audio system, instead using a less high-end audio setup that’s yet to be detailed.

Therefore the temporarily revised base price of the Golf R hatchback comes down to $65,990 before on-road costs, or $68,990 for the Golf R Wagon. More important than the fairly small price cuts is the fact it frees up availability for those who may not be audiophiles.

“Initially both versions of the Golf R will be offered at the revised RRP without Harmon Kardon, and with this sound system at $66,990 for the hatchback and $69,990 for the Wagon. This and the choice of a sunroof are the only two options on the Mark 8 Golf R,” said Volkswagen Passenger Vehicles brand director Michal Szaniecki.

A number of Golf Rs allocated to Australia have already been made with the Harman Kardon system, and will be once again following the present hiatus.

As this move is only temporary, making the sound system upgrade optional means the extant stock can go to those who’ll pay for the option.

The Golf R hatchback runs a 235kW and 400Nm 2.0 litre turbo-petrol engine, a revised version of Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system, and a seven speed DSG.

This can propel it from standing to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds. The 235kW/420Nm Wagon does the dash in 4.9sec.

The Golf R range is but one part of a wider R-branded onslaught, with a first-time Tiguan R SUV nearly here, and a smaller T-Roc R crossover due around mid-2022.

Mr Szaniecki said the company had taken more than 1000 money-down deposits (understood to be around $500) on its new R family already, from a list of 7000 expressions of interest.

For more information of the new Golf R range, read our deeper-dive here.

Temporary Golf R pricing (before on-road costs)

  • Golf R hatchback: $65,990
  • Golf R Wagon: $68,990


  • Harman Kardon sound system: $1000
  • Sunroof: $1900 (hatchback) or $2000 (Wagon)

Standard features

  • 4MOTION all-wheel-drive
  • Torque vectoring 
  • 19-inch ‘Estoril’ alloy wheels
  • Performance front brakes (358mm discs)
  • Six drive modes (including Drift and Special)
  • Extended rear roof spoiler (hatch)
  • Adaptive dampers
  • Sports exhaust
  • 10-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, satellite navigation and digital radio
  • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster with R modes
  • Matrix LED headlights
  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated front sports seats
  • Electric driver’s seat with memory
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop and go
  • Lane-centring assist (part of the Travel Assist system)
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Semi-autonomous parking

MORE: Everything Volkswagen Golf

Mike Costello
Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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