2022 VW Golf R most powerful and fastest performance Golf

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged engine now makes 315 horsepower, 27 more than the previous generation
  • Golf R now features torque vectoring 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and larger brake

In 2002, the first Golf R32 was introduced with 238 hp, all-wheel-drive, and a zero to 62 mph time of just 6.6 seconds. It sold better than expected and was the first Volkswagen in the world to be available with a dual-clutch automatic transmission (DSG). Four successive generations of Golf R have been developed from the R32. Volkswagen unveiled the latest generation of the brand’s performance halo, the new Golf R.

This car boasts 315 horsepower, 27 more than the outgoing U.S. model, as well as 310 pound-feet of torque. With standard 4Motion® all-wheel drive, the Golf R can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.7 seconds, on its way to a top track speed of 155 mph. The car will go on sale in the U.S. as a 2022 model during the latter part of 2021.

Other standout features of the new Golf R include a newly developed torque vectoring 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and a Vehicle Dynamics Manager. The new 4Motion setup features selective wheel torque control on the rear axle—the new rear differential distributes the power between the front and rear axles and between the two rear wheels. This makes it possible to significantly increase the agility of the Golf R, particularly when cornering.

As a world-first, the all-wheel-drive networks via a Vehicle Dynamics Manager (VDM) with other running gear systems such as the electronic differential locks (XDS) and the DCC adaptive damping system. Thanks to this close integration of the different systems, the new Golf R offers optimal traction, neutral handling with the utmost precision, and maximum agility and driving pleasure.

Exterior design

All five generations of the Golf R feature permanent all-wheel drive, customized design, and exclusive and sporty equipment. The exterior design of the new Golf R includes a new front bumper featuring a motorsport-style splitter and R-specific air intake grilles, with high-gloss black elements. At the top of the radiator grille, the Golf features a blue crossbar which lights up as an LED strip as soon as the engine starts and stretches into the fenders to act as the daytime running lights.

Like all eighth-generation Golf vehicles, the R is a five-door model. In the U.S., a sunroof is standard for the Golf R. The R-model’s distinctive features include 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels paired with summer performance tires. Also included are side skirts, matte chrome exterior mirror caps that project the R logo onto the road when the doors are opened and closed, and a 0.8-inch lower stance than the standard production model. Blue brake calipers, adorned with an R logo on the front, peek through the 19-inch wheels.

Another unique design element for the Golf R is the rear bumper, which now incorporates a newly designed high-gloss black diffuser. It is framed at the sides by elegant, chrome-plated twin tailpipes for the standard sport exhaust system. A roof spoiler ensures the necessary level of downforce for the rear axle.

There are three new Golf R exterior colors; Lapiz Blue Metallic is the R’s signature color, but it will also be available in Pure White or Deep Black Pearl Effect.

Interior infotainment and design

The 10-inch Discover Pro touchscreen display greets the driver with a new R welcome screen as soon as the vehicle opens with the vehicle key.

The driver and front passenger sit on top-of-the-range sport seats, with Nappa leather seating surfaces that feature carbon-look elements with blue accents in the side sections, as well as a blue R logo in the backrest. The heated multifunction leather sport steering wheel has also been given a specific design. It has ergonomically shaped DSG paddles, blue contrast stitching, and an R button to directly select the various driving profiles. A more forceful press of the R button also activates the Race profile directly. Like other eighth-generation Golf models, the Golf R features “touch” controls on the steering wheel with haptic feedback to the driver.

Other standard equipment includes:
Carbon-like panel décor.
R-specific door trim.
Brushed stainless-steel pedal caps and driver footrest.
30-color ambient lighting for the dash panel and doors that synchronizes with the display.

Powertrain and Chassis

The 1,984 cc four-cylinder turbocharged TSI engine in the new Golf R is currently the most powerful EA888 powerplant. This enhanced fourth-generation design (evo4) delivers 315 horsepower, 27 more than the engine in the last U.S. Golf R. Maximum torque has risen from 280 to 310 pound-feet, available from just 2,100 rpm and remains constant at this high level up to speeds of 5,350 rpm. Thanks to a fully-electronic coolant regulator unit, the engine also features very efficient thermal management with a short warm-up phase. The resultant reduction in friction losses helps to reduce fuel consumption.

The Golf R comes equipped with a new performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system, exclusive in North American Volkswagen models to the new Golf R.

The new 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring can also distribute the torque variably between both rear wheels.

The standard variable-ratio steering perfectly complements improved agility in the new Golf R. The driver can also influence the all-wheel-drive system, and the stability systems interact via the standard driving profile selection (Comfort, Sport, Race, and Individual). The R button on the steering wheel takes the Golf R driver straight to the driving profile selection.

The suspension has been retuned specifically for the vehicle, starting with an 0.8-inch lower ride height than the standard Golf. The focus was on achieving outstanding performance while still retaining the best possible ride characteristics. The car features a strut-type front and a multi-link rear suspension. The spring rates and anti-roll bar rates increase by 10 percent.

Volkswagen has a new driving dynamics control system for the Golf Mk 8: the Vehicle Dynamics Manager. In the Golf R, the intelligent system not only closely integrates the electronic differential locks (XDS) and cornering performance of the DCC system but also—for the first time—the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system during every driving maneuver. In this process, adapting the individual wheel damping (200 times a second) can help with agile and accurate handling.

The new Golf R underwent its final tuning on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race track and includes new “Special” and “Drift” driving profiles in addition to the traditional Comfort, Sport, Race, and Individual profiles in Driving Mode Selection. The Sport profile is the dynamic and ideal basic mode for the Golf R. The Comfort profile is tailored more for a high level of comfort, while still offering a high degree of steering precision. In the Race profile, the coasting function (freewheeling without drive power) is deactivated, the engine sound is increased, and the DSG, DCC, steering, and the all-wheel-drive system are adjusted to a sportier setup.

In the Special driving profile, all of the main drive system parameters were configured for the Nordschleife—including the new 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. The result is that the DSG dual-clutch automatic version of the Golf R is up to 17 seconds quicker in internal tests on the Nürburgring Nordschleife than its predecessor. Compared to Race mode, the Special profile has softer damping settings to make sure the Golf R can maintain maximum contact with the road on the undulating Nordschleife. The lateral behavior and all-wheel-drive controls are optimized to handle the corners of the Nürburgring.

In Drift profile (meant for track use only), the ESC stability control (change to ESC Sport) and the distribution of power via the all-wheel-drive system enable the Golf R to drift. The infotainment system always displays a confirmation prompt before it is activated.

In the Individual profile, the driver can precisely adjust and save their driving profile using a digital slider. In profiles below comfort, this results in even greater comfort. In profiles above Race, the tuning becomes even more dynamic and very direct; minimum roll is then combined with maximum agility. The driver is also able to deactivate ESC separately while on the race track.

Drivers of the most powerful Golf can adapt ESC in two stages. In ESC Sport mode, the ESC and traction control (ASR) slip thresholds are increased to reduce interventions’ intensity. In ESC Off mode, experienced drivers can additionally deactivate ESC altogether for all driving situations. However, Front Assist reactivates the full ESC system in emergencies.

The first Volkswagen Golf R32 in 2002 sold three times better than forecasted. This performance VW has not lost its charm.