- this is the new golf r, the most powerful version of volkswagen's latest mk 8 golf.
- it has a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.
- the new golf r will arrive in the u.s. near the end of 2021.
the vw golf r returns for the newest mk 8 generation, and this hot hatch is looking hotter than ever. it also promises a bump in performance thanks to a more powerful engine, an upgraded all-wheel drive system, and a standard six-speed manual transmission.
like before, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four is the sole engine choice, but this engine now produces 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque—notable increases of 27 hp and 30 lb-ft compared with the mk 7 car. the u.s. version will now make the same power as the europe-market car, so you won't have to look across the pond with envy anymore.
a six-speed manual transmission is standard—#savethemanuals—but the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will likely be quicker. vw claims a top speed of 155 mph and a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.7 seconds for the dsg car.
the new golf r's all-wheel drive system is more sophisticated than before thanks to a new torque-vectoring rear differential. this enables a drift mode function that changes the system's torque distribution and also partially deactivates the stability control for some tail-sliding action. the golf r is lowered 0.8 inch compared with the standard golf hatchback and comes standard with adaptive dampers. the front brakes are larger than before, with two-piston calipers.
looks-wise, the golf r uses a familiar theme for the exterior and interior, with blue accents for the brake calipers, interior stitching, and other trim pieces. it'll be offered in only three colors: the eye-catching lapiz blue metallic you see here, plus black and white. it also has 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235-series summer tires, a rear spoiler, a rear diffuser, larger air intakes, and a body kit that make it look somewhat more aggressive than the gti.
all u.s.-bound golf rs will be offered in a single fully loaded trim level, with a sunroof, leather seats, and lots of other standard features. when it arrives near the end of 2021, buyers will only choose exterior color and transmission.
we expect the new golf r to rise somewhat in price to account for its increased performance and feature content, which should mean a starting price somewhere in the mid-$40,000 range.