The new 2022 Golf R has been unveiled and it's as impressive as we expected it to be.
After months of rumours, teasing and pictures of it testing around the Nurburgring, the 2022 Golf R has finally be unveiled - confirming that it is the most potent factory-made Golf to date as well as the most technologically advanced.
As expected, the 2022 Golf R packs a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 315 bhp and 420 Nm of torque, which represents a 27 bhp and 15 Nm increase compared to the previous model.
This engine performance helps give the flagship Golf a 0-60 mph time of 4.7 secs and a top track speed of 155 mph.
Also as expected, the 2022 Golf R comes standard with 4Motion all-wheel drive – with a new rear differential. That new rear differential is able to distribute power variably between the axles, giving the new VW extra options in drive mode which include two new subcategories called Special and Drift. The former replicates the ideal tuning chosen for the Nurburgring while the latter makes the car a bit playful enabling it to go sideways.
VW has also stiffened up the overall suspension by 10 per cent as well as lowered it by 20-millimetre compared to the previous version. With more performance comes the need for more stopping power and VW have increased the size of the front rotors to 14.1 x 1.3 inches as opposed to the previous generation's 13.4 x 1.2. An R-specific master cylinder also helps deliver precise braking response and feel.
Visually VW had no intention of turning the new Golf R into a big gawking and shouty hot hatch, and have kept the exterior look as understated as usual. Some might even say that the Golf R looks similar to the new Golf GTI, but some extra aggressive styling at certain places has differentiated it.
You can identify it by its subtle R-specific front bumper with integrated splitter and larger air intakes, satin-silver mirror caps, model-specific 19-inch wheels and blue-painted brake callipers. Out behind, where it is the most apparent, there's a new rear spoiler and a unique rear bumper fascia with twin exhaust outlets surrounded by a gloss-black diffuser that looks exceptionally mean.
The cabin gets a similarly designed interior kit and layout as the new GTI, headlined through a 10.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, digital virtual instrument cluster, and touch-sensitive controllers on the steering wheel, replacing the old school analogue buttons. There's even a special and unique "R" button on the steering wheel for easy access to the Race drive mode. Typically with any Golf R, blue trim pieces and R logos adorn the dash, steering wheel and seats.
We guess the biggest surprise is that Volkswagen has decided to let people have the option of buying the car with a six-speed manual or 7-speed DSG gearbox, but which one as an optional extra is unclear and will be market-specific. The US and Canada market Golf R will be equipped with the manual transmission and DSG as an optional extra. Volkswagen Malaysia will most likely spec the car the opposite way when it eventually arrives.
When will it arrive? We can only hope that VW Malaysia introduces the car next year and launch the 2022 Golf R with the new GTI instead of staggering it.