By on November 3, 2020

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen’s Golf R has always sat among the top of the hot-hatch class, along with the Subaru WRX STI and Honda Civic Type R.

And it’s re-done for 2022.

The big news here is an increase of nearly 30 horsepower – 27 to be precise – to 315. Torque from the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with variable valve timing jumps 30 lb-ft from 280 to 310. The all-wheel-drive system adds torque vectoring, and the brakes are larger. Volkswagen is claiming a 0-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.

Not only does the AWD system add torque vectoring, but a computer system called Vehicle Dynamics Manager allows it to “talk” to the adaptive damping system and the electronic differential locks.

Speaking of differentials, the rear differential distributes power from between the front and rear axles, as well as between the two rear wheels.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Outside, the front bumper is new with a splitter and air-intake grilles that are specific to the R model. These have gloss black trim. A LED light bar that actually lights up when the engine fires crosses the top of the grille.

All Golfs are five-doors now, and the R is no exception. A sunroof is now standard on American models (bout time at this price point), and the wheels are 19-inchers that wear summer tires. Side skirts adorn the car, along with matte chrome side-view mirror finishes that project the car’s R logo when the door is opened or closed. The car gets blue brake calipers with the R logo painted on, and the R is dropped 0.8 inches compared to other Golf models.

A gloss-black rear diffuser is part of the rear bumper, and there’s a roof spoiler. Lapiz Blue Metallic remains the “signature” color for Golf Rs, but white and black will be available.

Inside the car are a 10-inch infotainment screen and digital gauges, including R-specific gauge layouts (including a lap timer and other performance-related metrics) and a horizontal rev counter. There are shift-indicator lights for the DSG transmission.

Buyers get leather seats, a heated steering wheel, interior ambient lighting, R-specific trim, and haptic-touch controls on the steering wheel.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Manual fans, don’t fret at the mention of a DSG – that seven-speed gearbox is an option, and a six-speed manual is standard. That fancy all-wheel-drive system has another trick up its sleeve we haven’t mentioned yet – it can use torque vectoring to put up to 100 percent of the torque to the wheel on the outside of a corner, helping to reduce understeer and reduce cornering radius.

There’s variable-ratio steering and several drive modes including Comfort, Sport, Race, and Individual). An R button on the steering wheel lets the driver access the best mode for their mood.

Upfront sits a strut-type suspension, and out rear, a multi-link setup. Spring and anti-roll bar rates are increased by 10 percent. A new aluminum suspension subframe helps the car shed 6.6 pounds, negative camber on the front axle is increased, and other rear suspension bits have been tweaked.

The Vehicle Dynamics Manager can use targeted braking to reduce understeer and set up handling to be slightly rear-biased. It has all sorts of tricks up its sleeve, so to speak, to reduce understeer and oversteer.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

As is often the case with sports cars these days, the Golf R got put through its paces on the Nordschleife at the Nürburgring. A Special driving mode sets the car up with the settings used for the drive around the Ring (including softer damping than Race to account for undulations), while a Drift mode – meant for non-public roads, natch – allows the driver, to, well, drift.

Drivers can turn the electronic stability control to either butt in less often, or butt out completely, unless Front Assist activates it in a true emergency.

The brakes are now 14.1 inches in diameter and 1.3 inches wide, compared to 13.4 and 1.2 before. The pistons in the two-piston front calipers are aluminum to reduce mass.

If the next Golf R gets your hot-hatch blood flowing, hang in there, Sparky. The car won’t be on sale until late 2021 as a 2022 model.

[Images: Volkswagen]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

23 Comments on “2022 Volkswagen Golf R – Hail the Halo Car...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    315 hp 2 liter.
    Emissions compliant.
    That’s some impressive juice, albeit at a likely jaw-dropping price.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I suspect that anyone who test drives it, buys it.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        In previous gens (without the torque vectoring..), the GTI has been a nicer drive. As has the slightly larger, but more coherent S4. And hotter versions of the x-drive 3er wagon (where available) for that matter….

        The combination of the R’s added weight vs the GTI, and a somewhat sluggish Haldex awd setup, making it much less playful than VW’s long term standard bearer. While at the same time also reducing the already less that stellar range at higher speeds, which is the Achilles heel of almost all fast compacts. At least Out West, which is about the only place in the US where greater-than-GTI speeds are really all that practically significant.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Its almost as if they made the ICEs so terribly unreliable on purpose to push you into the admittedly less complicated EV drivetrain. But that’s just crazy talk.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    There was a video on Youtueb showing some of VW’s costcutting on the Mark VIII Golf. No more gas struts for the hood, just a prop. No more sunglass holder compartment etc…

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      They’re pinching pennies everywhere, in order to fund ultimately rather pointless, but oh-so fashionable among the semiliterati, battery tools and toys…..

      The GTI in particular, but also the R and other Golfs, are so distinct, that it would take more than just a bit of cost cutting on details, to render it anything but a darned desirable offering, though.

      While the Asians make great cars in general, they seem positively incapable of comprehending the practical need for practical cars which remain practical transportation, not just toys, at 120mph and up. Ditto Americans. Stupid low speed limits without exceptions, seem to everywhere entrench that sort of myopia.

  • avatar
    Urlik

    Love my MK7 R, it’s only needed a battery in 5 years. The upgrades mostly sound great but I would not touch the Mk8 until the face lift that dumps most of the haptic crap. It amazes me that a manufacturer failed to learn from Honda’s mistake doing this.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      I got to the haptic touch controls part of the article and basically stopped reading as all I did from then on was complain in my head and convince myself I need to wear gloves any time I test drive a car. If any of the controls I expect to use on a regular basis don’t operate with gloves on, I’m going to pass on the car.

      The whole point of steering wheel controls is to keep your eyes on the road. I have to assume the haptic touch controls will be completely smooth and you will never be able to properly operate them blind. Why does no manufacturer listen to people with this stuff? No one likes it!

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Somewhat disconcerting, is the speed and ease at which the 20 something demonstrators of these touch-everywhere controls, manage to swipe, slide and click their way through features far too numerous and detailed to have any hope of being controlled by less than a jetliner’s worth of physical buttons.

        I’m personally still of the opinion that the S2000 (and the FJ Cruiser) had the best interfaces around for the past 5 decades (except the top operation. There the Miata wins…). But I prefer my bicycles either fixed gear or single speed….. And, honestly, my revolvers to be single actions and long guns to be break-opens.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Shocked this is not EV.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      VW has developed from-the-grounds-up EV platforms now. ID.(this and that). Rear drive even…… Just like Honda, in order to allow fantastic wheelcuts, hence turning circles, much appreciated in urban driving. No more stick-a-battery-and-a-Makita-motor in a Golf, while waiting for Tesla to run out of suckers’ retirement savings and/or inbound government enforced transfers from productive people.

      They’re still doing plug-in-hybrid versions of their stalwarts, though. Just in case you want to gamble on the simultaneous reliability of all three of turbos, direct injection AND not just a hybrid system, but indeed a plug-in-one, which is not unlikely to leave fuel sitting in those high pressure lines, and turbos and the rest sitting unused like a lawnmower through winter, while you commute back and forth on your battery charge……

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    Looking forward to hearing more about the dynamics.

    VW needs to hand wheel-design duties to someone else. They must have bought face-machining equipment from GM. Blecch.

  • avatar
    RHD

    “Volkswagen is claiming a 0-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.”
    Just a few years ago, that would have been V8 supercar territory. Now it’s a 2-liter four-banger in a five-door hatchback.
    On the other hand, the 2023 electric version (ID-GTI?) will probably beat those acceleration and top speed figures.

    • 0 avatar
      Drew8MR

      My neighbor has the last gen R and I haven’t driven it, but she has driven my Evo VIII and says it’s much,much quicker everywhere than her R. The only hot VW I’ve driven is the R32 and that was extremely underwhelming. The R is so much nicer inside though, and while I don’t care I can see how most people would. Growing up with well used 50s/60s/malaise era American interiors everything seems perfectly nice to me.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    “All Golfs are five-doors now, and the R is no exception.” – Boo, hiss!

    “Manual fans, don’t fret at the mention of a DSG – that seven-speed gearbox is an option, and a six-speed manual is standard.” – Yay!

  • avatar
    WhatsMyNextCar

    I automatically consider it better than the Civic Type-R just because it doesn’t look so f-ing stupid like a Civic Type-R.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Does that gearshift lever fold down out of the way?

  • avatar
    tylanner

    The Golf R is definitely in the daily driver HOF, especially with trick DSW/AWD

    And all this talk of a Hybrid Electric GTI/GLI/R is getting me excited…0-60 < 5 seconds and 40mpg Highway would be incredible.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    This looks like an electric car. I don’t like all the design decisions.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Can you get the light bar to go back and forth like Kit in Knight Rider when you’re driving?

  • avatar

    It looks like Kingdom of Darkness. Everything is dark and gloomy – exterior, interior, wheels, spirit, vibes. I am scared to death even to approach this car. The kingdom of darkness has Satan as its ruler. You know his name. Amen.

  • avatar
    monkeydelmagico

    Really want to like this car. Current gen is O.K. but doesn’t really get my adrenaline flowing when driving it. Make the new one more neutral and keep the asking price the same might change my mind.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • cimarron typeR: Interesting that the prndl gear display for auto is the exact as our 81 Corolla wagon growing up....
  • 28-Cars-Later: Should I review the MY14 Cadillac SRX I drove a drunk girl home in last night? :D
  • EBFlex: “ You lost it, and most of us, when you tried to convince us that the “F Series” wasn’t a ford pick-up.” I...
  • mopar4wd: I don’t think the dealers want these. Local Acura dealer got a new bright red A-spec TLX in and...
  • slavuta: We had FWD like this, no turbo. So much plastic in the cabin…. And rust, rust, rust…

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber