Volkswagen unveils new Golf R

Global reveal of Volkswagen Golf R showcases the most powerful Golf yet

Reuben Van Niekerk
Golf R
Hot Hatch

Volkswagen have unveiled their latest Golf R based on the eight generation of their iconic marque, revealing the most powerful production Golf in history, now featuring 235kW.


The Golf R is traditionally the most powerful model in Volkswagens model range, it always features all-wheel drive, is always highly dynamic and always features a particularly exclusive design and that recipe remains unchanged.


Go faster bits

Under the bonnet is a reworked Evo4 version of the 2.0 litre EA888 turbocharged four-cylinder engine that now produces 235kW and 420Nm.


A new all-wheel drive system, 4-Motion with R-Performance and torque vectoring enables a new dimension of driving dynamics and ensures that maximum power from the engine is transferred into forward momentum thanks to optimal traction.


Volkswagen claim that the new Golf R will be able to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.7 seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. However the Golf R can also be ordered with an optional R-Performance package, which increases top speed to 270km/h.


The Golf R is a sum of its parts, cutting edge running gear, a four-cylinder turbocharged engine and the most progressive four-wheel drive system in its category combine to shift the goal posts of hot hatch performance.


The all-wheel drive system is now also connected to the Vehicle Dynamics Manager along with the electronic differential locks (XDS) and adaptive chassis control (DCC). The close integration of these systems allows for optimum traction, depending on the driving conditions and modes selected.


Naturally this setup was fined tuned on the Nurburgring Nordschleife and the Golf R even comes with a dedicated Nurburgring driving profile, marked ‘Special’. In this mode all the characteristics are tailored for this iconic racetrack and the results speak for themself. The new Golf R, equipped with a seven-speed DSG as standard, was up to 19 seconds quicker per lap around the Nurburgring, where it recorded a lap time of 7:51 minutes.


The Golf R features a total of seven driving modes. Drift mode for example will send a greater percentage of power to the rear wheels enabling drivers to initiate real oversteer and controlled drifting.


The Golf R will sit 20mm lower on 18 or 19-inch alloys, which cover larger, 358mm, performance brakes upfront. An Akrapovic exhaust system will be available as an optional extra.


Subtle styling

The R retains its slightly subtle performance styling, but it does feature a restyled front bumper, larger side skirts, a more aggressive rear diffuser, quad exhaust tips, a larger rear spoiler and R-badges all round.


The interior is decorated with sports seats, R logos and blue touches throughout. The Golf R is also fitted with a dual-screen infotainment system that features smartphone mirroring and voice control, a lap timer, G meter and a new horizontal rev counter with shift lights. The steering wheel features touch sensitive controls, including an R button, which instantly puts all the systems into the sportiest mode.


When will it be available?

The Golf R is expected to arrive in South Africa early in 2022 and pricing will be confirmed closer to that date.