Volkswagen has taken the wraps off the all-new Mk8 Volkswagen Golf R, revealing the latest instalment of the popular German hot-hatch. The new model is loaded with the latest tech, comes with more power power than before and purists will be able to rejoice that a manual option will still be on offer in some overseas markets.
With an Australian launch due in early 2022, Volkswagen claims to have created the hottest and most powerful production Golf ever with the familiar EA288 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine pumping out 235kW (315 HP) and 420Nm (from 2100 to 5350rpm). Both the power and torque represent modest gains over the 213kW/380Nm outputs currently on offer in the outgoing Mk7 Golf R.
All of that power and torque translate to incredible performance in the real world with Volkswagen claiming that the new Golf R can hit 100km/h from rest in merely 4.7 seconds with a top speed (electronically limited) of 250km/h (155mph).
Purists will rejoice in knowing that a six-speed manual lives on in the Mk8 Golf R and will indeed be standard gearbox in some countries. Whether this will be the case in Australia remains to be seen, as the current Golf GTI and R only come with a seven-speed DSG automatic as standard.
Things start to get interesting with the car’s suspension and clever chassis features. As before, Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel features. For the first time however, it can send up to 100 per cent of the engine’s power and torque to an outside wheel during cornering. Just like a Focus RS. Along with trick adaptive dampers which adjust 200 times a second, we can expect this Golf to be unlike anything before it.
A computer system called Vehicle Dynamics Manager (VDM) features on all Mk8 Golfs and is responsible for all of the characteristics which determine how the new Mk8 Golf drives. From the brakes, the damping, to the steering, VDM has been tuned to offer the ultimate in hot hatch dynamics with Volkswagen claiming that the new Mk8 Golf R offers “particularly agile and accurate handling”.
Leading the tech revolution is the plethora of drive modes on offer and a new ‘R’ button on the steering wheel which allows drivers to choose their ideal drive mode or to head directly to the sharpest ‘Race’ mode, much like the ‘N’ mode in the i30 N. ‘Special’ and ‘Drift’ modes feature for the first time and are complemented by the existing ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’, ‘Race’ and ‘Individual’ modes seen in the previous generation Mk7 Golfs. ‘Special’ is designed for use on the Nurburgring, having made its debut on the Mk8 GTI Clubsport introduced just last month.
Whilst the majority of the suspension and running gear carries over from the previous generation Golf R, Volkswagen has played with stiffer spring rates along with a stiffer anti-roll bar. One degree of extra negative camber on the front axle is said to improve high speed cornering.
The new Mk8 Golf R also looks the goods too with new front and rear bumpers, a “motorsport-style splitter”, all rounded off with splashes of gloss black plastic. 19-inch alloy wheels continue to be standard, along with matte-chrome side mirrors and blue brake callipers with ‘R’ logos which instantly set this Mk8 Golf R apart from lesser Golfs.
Jumping inside, the the Mk8 Golf R features a large 10.0-inch ‘Discover Pro’ in the centre of the dash which can be used to control both the infotainment functions as well as the climate control. As seen in all Mk8 Golfs, the love it or hate it 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit screen sits in front of the driver in lieu of traditional dials. Blue ‘R’ logos are dotted around the cabin with the leather sports seats featuring sporty carbon fibre like trim to lift this Mk8 Golf R beyond its regular Golf brethren.
Volkswagen Australia has confirmed that the new Golf R is on the cards for a launch down under. Sadly we’ll have to wait over a year until it arrives in 2022. Stay tuned to DiscoverAuto for any developments and local specs closer to its launch date.