2022 VW Golf R Has 315 HP, AWD with a Drift Mode, and a Manual

  • This is the new Golf R, the most powerful version of Volkswagen’s latest Mk 8 Golf.
  • It has a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.
  • The new Golf R will arrive in the U.S. near the end of 2021.

    The VW Golf R returns for the newest Mk 8 generation, and this hot hatch is looking hotter than ever. It also promises a bump in performance thanks to a more powerful engine, an upgraded all-wheel drive system, and a standard six-speed manual transmission.

    Like before, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four is the sole engine choice, but this engine now produces 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque—notable increases of 27 hp and 30 lb-ft compared with the Mk 7 car. The U.S. version will now make the same power as the Europe-market car, so you won’t have to look across the pond with envy anymore.


    A six-speed manual transmission is standard—#SavetheManuals—but the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will likely be quicker. VW claims a top speed of 155 mph and a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.7 seconds for the DSG car.

    The new Golf R’s all-wheel drive system is more sophisticated than before thanks to a new torque-vectoring rear differential. This enables a Drift mode function that changes the system’s torque distribution and also partially deactivates the stability control for some tail-sliding action. The Golf R is lowered 0.8 inch compared with the standard Golf hatchback and comes standard with adaptive dampers. The front brakes are larger than before, with two-piston calipers.

    Looks-wise, the Golf R uses a familiar theme for the exterior and interior, with blue accents for the brake calipers, interior stitching, and other trim pieces. It’ll be offered in only three colors: the eye-catching Lapiz Blue Metallic you see here, plus black and white. It also has 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235-series summer tires, a rear spoiler, a rear diffuser, larger air intakes, and a body kit that make it look somewhat more aggressive than the GTI.


    All U.S.-bound Golf Rs will be offered in a single fully loaded trim level, with a sunroof, leather seats, and lots of other standard features. When it arrives near the end of 2021, buyers will only choose exterior color and transmission.

    We expect the new Golf R to rise somewhat in price to account for its increased performance and feature content, which should mean a starting price somewhere in the mid-$40,000 range.

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