Volkswagen Teases Most Powerful Golf R Ever With New Branding, ‘Countdown’ To World Debut

The Golf R will premiere on November 4

2022 Volkswagen Golf R teaser
(Photos: Volkswagen)

Meet the new Volkswagen Golf R Mk8. Well, not quite — that reveal is coming in a little less than a week, on November 4. Before that, though, the company put out a new teaser image of the hatchback, showing its updated VW logo and new ‘R’ branding badge on the liftgate.

Fortunately, we also get slightly more detailed information about the new version, even before its official debut. Starting with the Golf R32 back in 2002, this all-wheel drive hatchback has been the king of the Golf range. That will continue here with the next-generation Golf R. What’s more, VW promises this will be the “most powerful Golf model in history”. So what does that mean? The Mk7.5 model managed 288 horsepower at the end of its life cycle, so we expect a healthy nudge northward on that figure. Getting over 300 horsepower from the EA888 2.0-liter engine is perfectly feasible, and the Golf R needs a boost to separate itself from the more powerful Golf GTI Mk8, as well as its hot hatch rivals.

The hottest Golf should share most of its styling cues with the mid-range Golf GTI, shown above.

Refining the Golf R 4Motion system

We’ve seen other VW models like the European Arteon R manage 315 horsepower from that same engine. On that basis (and the Tiguan R, for that matter), I’d expect to see a similar output for the hottest Golf.

The company did say it would retain the EA888 engine, so you can still expect a 2.0-liter engine under the hood. Beyond that, Volkswagen says the car will have “wheel-selective torque control” on the rear axle. Beyond just shifting the power 50-50 from front to rear, that means the new Golf R will also be able to shift torque from side to side, which ought to help keep it planted under hard cornering when paired with the XDS electronic differential locks and DCC adaptive chassis control.

With a reveal coming so late in the year, we likely won’t see the actual production model until later in 2021, around the same time as the Golf GTI. That means the next Golf R Mk8 should arrive as a 2022 model, but we will know more with certainty next Wednesday. Stay tuned for more updates!