After a brief hiatus, the VW Golf R returns for model year 2022 with more horsepower and sportier tuning. Here’s all the details.
Today was the day that VW Golf R fans have been waiting for, one of the most popular performance 5-doors has returned after an acrimonious end to production in mid-2019. This new Golf R will produce a healthy 315 horsepower and develop some 310 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers are nothing to scoff at but what’s really incredible is just how far beyond the already exceptional 7th generation this entire Golf package seems to be. Now that we have all the details let’s dive into all that will likely make the new MK8 Golf R the best ever.
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Adding horsepower is always a recipe for fun, but actual performance capability requires far more. This Golf R uses stiffer front and rear sway bars in connection with a brand-new aluminum subframe that’s lighter by 6.6 pounds. While that’s not a huge amount, and the overall weight of the car is 30 pounds heavier, it demonstrates Volkswagen’s attitude towards getting every performance advantage possible with this four-seater. In fact, thanks to the Vehicle Dynamics Manager entrenched in the ECU, this hot hatch has a “Drift Mode” that helps channel more power to the back and allows for a little more slip-and-slide fun.
The suspension features 6 different driving modes, two of which are sort of hidden. One is a completely customizable setting that allows the driver to create a perfectly tailored suspension setting that actually goes beyond the existing comfort and race settings to provide an even more extreme ride. The other is a “Nurburgring” setting that’s intended to soften the springs for rougher roads without losing the other racy settings of the ECU. That’s not just a gimmick either, this Golf R set a 7:51 lap time at the famous track during testing with these specific settings. For anyone wondering, that’s faster than the 2014 BMW M4. So this Golf R isn’t slow, and the inside of the car is far bigger than any M4.
What’s incredible at the end of the day is that, the Golf R isn’t far off from the major luxury brands in terms of interior quality and refinement. The standard Golf is already a nice place to be but this one goes to another level. Every single Golf R will receive the highest level trim package available with lots of options like leather seats, a heated leather steering wheel, carbon style accents, and haptic feedback touch controls on the steering wheel.
In terms of the overall exterior package of the car, we can see from these pictures that it’s following closely with previous generations by remaining subtle while adding some sporty details. The overall ride height of the car is lowered by .8 inches over the standard Golf and gets wider 19-inch wheels and tires to fully compliment the wheel arches. Other than the La Paz blue color pictured here, the Golf R will also come in white and black. A manual transmission will be a no-cost option and other models will be fitted with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The 10.1-inch touchscreen in the dash is back from other Golf models and provides more performance data than the others in the family.
It’s clear now that everything points to this Golf R being far improved over each of the previous generations. If you’re a pure sportscar fan, then there’s a ton here for you to like and that’s not always been something one could say of the Golf R. With the additional power, exceptional gearbox, and terrific packaging we see here, it’s looking more and more like traditional automotive enthusiasts could be convinced to buy into the Volkswagen brand.
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