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2022 Volkswagen Golf R Mk8 will be the fastest Golf ever

By Tom Fraser, 04 Nov 2020 Car News

2021 volkswagen golf R

2022 VW Golf R packing 235kW, AWD drift mode and retains manual gearbox, though not here until 2022

Volkswagen has whipped the covers back from the hottest Golf it has ever produced, the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R.

The new Golf R takes the new Mark 8 shape and stuffs in a retuned EA888 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine for performance totalling 235kW/420Nm.

Both a six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG transmission will be on offer and VW says it’ll be able to run the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.7 seconds, onto a limited 250km/h top speed.

2021 volkswagen golf R

Read next: 2020 Volkswagen Golf R Final Edition review

Those numbers are 22kW and 40Nm up from its Mark 7.5 predecessor, representing a sizeable jump in performance using the same engine. 

The R engine differs from the VW Golf GTI engine in a few key ways, notably in the use of stronger internals to handle more boosty goodness.

As expected, the 2022 VW Golf R Mk8 will retain all-wheel-drive, but with a few key enhancements thrown into the mix.

The 4Motion drivetrain will feature a new torque-vectoring system for the rear axle which can selectively control the amount of power sent to each back corner, while a rear diff will juggle the power between both the front and rear axle.

2021 volkswagen golf R

VW says this will significantly aid the Golf R’s agility, particularly in cornering.

Also helping the new Golf rotate on its axis is a new Vehicle Dynamics Manager (which is also employed in the Golf GTI). This new system networks the electronic differential lock and adaptive damper systems together.

Read next: Manhart turns the Golf R into a 331kW hot hatch beast

Two new ‘Special’ and ‘Drift’ driving modes join the party too. The Special mode is said to emulate the driving parameters used during testing of the 2022 Golf R on the Nurburgring Nordschleife, meaning you can use the driving mode that was specially devised for the Green Hell.

2021 volkswagen golf R

Speaking of, the new Golf R managed to best its predecessor’s Nurburgring time by a whopping 19 seconds at the hands of test driver Benjamin Leuchter.

MORE Power Up: Volkswagen details Golf GTI Clubsport

Drift mode is pretty self-explanatory – it winds back the electronic stability control interference and regulates the power through the all-wheel-drive system in order to get the Golf R to rotate for a nice big slide. Race tracks only, please!

Of course, the 2022 Golf R has transformed the Mark 8 Golf’s looks into a sporty character with a redesigned front bar with integrated full-width LED strip lighting, silver mirror caps, large side skirts, large 19-inch alloy wheels, a 20mm drop in ride height, an aggressive rear diffuser with quad tailpipes, sizeable rear spoiler and ‘R’ badging at the front and rear.

2021 volkswagen golf R

Read next: Golf GTI vs rivals

On the inside we find the heavily digitised interior of the Mark 8 Golf with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and 10-inch infotainment and a few R additions such as blue-accented sports seats with integrated headrests, a specific R-design multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters and a dedicated R button, brushed stainless steel pedals, carbon accents and ambient lighting.

2021 volkswagen golf R

After the standard Mark 8 Golf and GTI go on sale in early 2021, it’s likely that Australians will have to wait until at least 2022.