2022 Volkswagen Golf R

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R is ready to dethrone the hottest hatchbacks that have dominated the headlines in its absence. The R-rated model, which is based on the improvements made to the upcoming Mk8 Golf GTI, has a more powerful 315-hp turbo-four engine and an all-wheel-drive system with a drift mode. It was even named to our Editors' Choice list for 2022. While VW's latest high-performance hatch isn't as flashy as rivals like the Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai Veloster N, its more refined appearance should help it catch rivals off guard while attracting buyers looking for a fast small car with a low-key appearance. A slew of exclusive features and subtle design cues help it stand out from the GTI, which it shares a modern interior and a wealth of technology with.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Golf R is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, up from 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet in the previous generation R. A six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission are available to go with the engine. For improved handling, the standard 4Motion all-wheel-drive system includes a rear differential that actively distributes torque between the left and right rear wheels. By pressing the "R" button on the steering wheel, the Golf R's selectable drive modes (Comfort, Sport, Race, Special, Drift, and Individual) can be activated. We tried the hatch's Drift mode, which was fun on slick surfaces, but it won't replace the fun factor of a rear-drive muscle car.
A sport exhaust system, variable-ratio steering, and larger front disc brakes are standard on all models.

It also has a set of 19-inch wheels with summer performance tires mounted on them. The Golf R demonstrated the quickness and tenacity of its powerful engine, responsive dual-clutch automatic, and intelligent all-wheel-drive system during our first drive in Germany. The version we tested came with the optional Performance package, which adds two more drive modes, including a fun Drift mode that allows for some tail-sliding antics. Our Golf R test car with the seven-speed automatic transmission blasted to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds at our test track, beating the 2021 Honda Civic Type R by 0.9 seconds.

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