At a time when Volkswagen is doubling down on a bolide (no, not ) will bring 315 horsepower to the all-wheel-drive hot-hatch party. What’s more, VW is bucking industry trends by committing to the availability of a manual transmission in the US and Canada (a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox will be optional).and making , it’s heartening to see that the automaker isn’t leaving its core audience of driving enthusiasts out in the cold. The latest evidence? This 2022 Volkswagen Golf R. Set to return to showrooms late next year after going on hiatus, this blue
Volkswagen says that the new hatchback will not only accelerate to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds en route to a top speed of 155 mph, it’ll be capable of lapping Germany’s legendary Nurburgring racetrack a whopping 17 seconds quicker than its predecessor. (In racing, a couple of seconds is a substantial gap.) And while we firmly believe ‘Ring lap records have become unnecessarily glorified in car culture, the yawning chasm between the times of this new Mk8 Golf R and its immediate predecessor sounds telling. That Golf gulf points to a substantial improvement not just in power, but in handling agility, as well. In fact, as Karsten Schebsdat, Golf R’s head of driving dynamics, said in a teleconference earlier this week, “We can definitely say it’s [the Golf R’s] biggest step forward with respect to performance that we have ever made from one generation to the other.” That’s good news.
2022 Golf R performance specs and mechanical changes
Equally good news is VW’s apparent focus on making the 2022 Golf R more fun to drive. Historically, while the Golf R has enjoyed a reputation for being more powerful and polished than its less-costlysibling, it’s also generally been viewed as less frisky and ultimately, less fun as a driver’s car. Thanks to a new, electronically locking, torque-vectoring rear differential, updated adaptive dampers and a new Vehicle Dynamics Manager (VDM) control unit to tie it all together, the German automaker says it has tuned this new Golf R to be both sharper and more alive. With a quicker variable-ratio power steering setup and a rear diff that can route up to 100% of the available torque to either axle as standard equipment, the Golf R’s handling is claimed to be both more neutral and responsive, but the proof will be in the driving.
The heart of this high-performance matter is a retuned version of VW’s evergreen EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In addition to those 315 horses, this engine delivers 310 pound-feet of…