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What we know about the 2021 Volkswagen Golf R

By Chris Thompson, 19 Oct 2020 Car News

2021 Volkswagen Mk8 Golf R confirmed

The next AWD hot hatch from Wolfsburg is on its way, so here’s the story so far

Recent word from VW has confirmed the 2021 Volkswagen Mk8 Golf R is set for a global official reveal on November 4, after months of small morsels being uncovered through spy shots, specs leaks, and the usual internet theories.

With some officially confirmed information set in stone, including for us here in Australia, we can start piecing together the Mk8 Golf R story.

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A post shared by Volkswagen R (@vwr) on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:06am PDT

2021 VW Golf R engine and power figures

First, the likely specs for the new Volkswagen Golf R were leaked at the beginning of 2020, with the entire Mk8 Golf performance lineup being compromised in a screenshot from an internal Volkswagen video.

The next Golf R is listed as having a peak of 245kW, while the next GTI TCR takes on the likes of the Honda Civic Type R or Renault Megane Trophy with its 221kW, the same as the overseas Golf R Mk7.5.

The Mk7.5 Golf R currently outputs 213kW here in Australia, which means there’s a strong chance the new GTI TCR will have 213kW… and that the R's EA888 2.0-litre petrol engine is potentially likely to cop a power decrease as well.

We say 'potentially', though, because sister brand Skoda recently managed to convince VW HQ that its recent Kodiaq RS SUV didn't need a power-sapping 'hot-weather' tune for its 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine, a fate that has befallen a raft of VW Group products across the spectrum.

 

There's also no chance that the Golf R will, as has been speculated, score the five-cylinder engine from Audi, despite test mules being spotted in the wild.

MORE VW Golf GTI vs Renault Megane RS280

But the good thing is that it will arrive here. Volkswagen says the VW ‘Golf R 8’ (not R8, Audi) will definitely come to Australia, as will the majority of the eighth-generation Golf’s performance variants, save the diesel-powered Golf GTD.

The details of its Australian arrival are still to be confirmed, both in terms of the specifications and the price and timing, but VW says it’s guaranteed, and only a matter of when, not if.

2021 VW Golf R

Source: @wilcoblok / Instagram

VW Golf R Mk8 exterior

Of course, the world will officially see the next Golf R in a couple of weeks from now, but the car itself hasn’t exactly been hiding.

Car spotters have taken notice of the Golf R testing, particularly at the Nurburgring, where the car has been lapping essentially undisguised.

Spotters like @automotive_mike and @wilcoblok have essentially given us a complete look at the exterior of the car (directly above and below).

2021 VW Golf R rear

Source: @wilcoblok / Instagram

It’s able to be pinpointed due to its twin dual-exit pipes, with the front looking more subtle than that of the front-drive GTI, as has been an unofficial tradition.

Is more a case of evolution over revolution for the Golf Mk8, with the five-door hatchback silhouette looking very similar to that of the Mk7.5 it replaces.

There's a more aggressive bonnet treatment, narrower headlight band and smaller taillights in evidence, along with a larger yet more subtle roof spoiler.

Volkswagen Golf R Mk8 interior

Spy shots of the Volkswagen Golf R Mk8 interior have already revealed a digital dash with a bespoke R-type design for the driver, along with the potential for much larger and more stylised shifting paddles to replace the underwhelming items in the current car.

Australia's love of performance cars will ensure that the Golf R Mk8 will be well-specced when it comes to standard inclusions. Expect items like wireless Apple Car Play, Android Auto, inductive phone chargers, seat heaters and a wide array of active safety aids.

These will likely include high-spec AEB, lane-departure assist, cross-traffic assist, adaptive cruise control with stop/start function and more.

Now, we wait for more details to be confirmed upon the official reveal of the VW Mk8 Golf R on November 4.

NOW CHECK OUT The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI ClubSport Mk8