The new eighth generation of Volkswagen’s Golf R has arrived in Australia, with the hot hatch now available at local Volkswagen dealerships priced between $65,990 for the Golf R hatchback and $68,990 for the Golf R wagon.
The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R Mk8 is the most powerful and well equipped Golf R ever. It continues with its predecessor’s tried and tested formula – a potent turbocharged engine matched with an all-wheel-drive system.
Powering the flagship Golf is an improved and updated version of the outgoing model’s 2.0-litre ‘EA888’ turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Australian-spec Golf R churns out a potent 235kW of power and 400Nm of torque – an increase of 22kW/20Nm.
Power is transferred to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Unlike before, the six-speed manual option is no longer offered in Australia. The self-shifter is only available in selected global markets and Australia isn’t one of them – for now.
The Golf R continues the use of a Haldex-type all-wheel drive system, albeit improved to include an R Performance Torque Vectoring system that allows up to 100 per cent of the rear-axle torque distributed between each individual rear wheels. With the new feature, the Golf R promises even sharper dynamics and quicker cornering.
Volkswagen claims the Golf R will rush from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds before hitting a limited top speed of 250km/h.
Like its GTI sibling, the R benefits from the same ‘Vehicle Dynamics Manager’ system which controls the ‘XDS’ electronically-controlled front locking differential, adaptive dampers, all-wheel drive system and other electronics systems to sharpen driving dynamics.
Australian-spec Golf R comes equipped with the‘R Performance’ package, which brings 19-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 performance tyres and a larger roof-mounted spoiler that is said to increase downforce.
The package also adds two new drive modes on top of Comfort, Sport, Individual and Race modes. Drift mode distributes a greater amount of torque to the rear axle to break traction and enable controlled drifts, while Special mode is specifically tailored for those who wish to tackle the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It softens the adaptive dampers to cater for the undulating surface of the German circuit.
The new Golf R’s sits 20mm closer to the road compared to the standard Golf, thanks to the sports tuned suspension with stiffer springs. The Golf R also gains unique anti-roll bars and increase negative front camber for better agility.
Stopping power comes courtesy of 358mm discs clamped by two-piston aluminium calipers up front, which are 60 per cent lighter. They shave 1.2kg off the unsprung mass of the car’s kerb weight, with a further 3kg loss thanks to the lighter aluminium subframe.
Styling wise, the Golf R features a blue-accented LED light strip connecting the headlights, larger side skirts, and a more aggressive rear diffuser sandwiched by quad exhaust tips.
Inside, there’s a flat-bottomed steering wheel with a dedicated ‘R’ button, paddle shifters for the DSG, nappa leather-trimmed sports seats with blue contrast stitching and alloy pedals.
Ahead of the driver is a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster with R-specific displays, a head-up display and a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen.