2022 VW Golf R: The most powerful Golf features torque vectoring and Drift mode

The 2022 VW Golf R is highly anticipated for many reasons. For starters, the new Mk8 Golf R is the most powerful Golf ever made. Besides that, the new Golf R promises a highly dynamic driving experience with its dazzling array of high-tech features.

Volkswagen's newest Golf R is based on the five-door Golf hatchback, while European versions will be sold in both hatchback and wagon body styles. The vehicle has a new front bumper with a motorsports-style front splitter and R-specific air intake grilles, high-gloss black exterior accoutrements, a unique rear bumper with a new diffuser, a roof spoiler, 19-inch wheels with summer performance tires, blue brake calipers and 0.8-inch lower suspension than a standard Mk8 Golf.

The 2022 VW Golf R is further distinguished by a blue LED crossbar in the front, chrome twin tailpipes, custom side skirts, matte chrome mirror caps that project the R logo on the floor when the doors are opened or closed. Volkswagen is offering the new Golf R in three custom paint colors: Pure White, Deep Black Pearl, and Lapiz Blue Metallic.

Inside, the newest Golf R has a configurable digital instrument cluster with unique R graphics. It features various layouts and skins that are selectable by accessing the View button on the new heated multifunction steering wheel. Additionally, the digital cockpit can display performance data like engine power, torque, boot pressure, and gearbox temperature. Also standard is a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen display, 30-color ambient lighting, sports seats wrapped in fine Nappa leather, brushed stainless steel pedal caps, and a carbon-look décor for the dash.

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R certainly looks the part, but what's under the hood matters the most. As promised, the latest Golf R is the most powerful Golf ever made. And as such, it comes with the most powerful version of the eight-gen Golf's 2.0-liter turbocharged EA888 four-cylinder engine. Equipped with variable valve timing, double overhead camshafts, direct injection, a water-cooled turbocharger, and a fully-electronic coolant regulator unit, the engine produces 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, which has 27 more horsepower than the previous Golf R.

Additionally, VW claims maximum torque is accessible from as low as 2,100 to as high as 5,300 rpm. This magnificent engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual or optional seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. Engine power is routed to all four wheels courtesy of VW's new performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring. According to VW, the latest iteration of its 4Motion AWD system can distribute and vary the torque output between the left and right rear wheels, and the system can route up to 100-percent of engine power to either the left and right rear wheel as needed.

The all-wheel drivetrain is governed by the car's Vehicle Dynamics Manager, the latter of which is also connected to the Golf R's adaptive damping system, variable-ratio electric power steering, and electronic differential locks. Volkswagen claims the close integration of all the running gears allow the new Golf R to offer superior traction, neutral handling, and an exhilarating driving feel with lesser fuel consumption.

All told, the new Golf R can sprint from zero to 60 mph in around 4.7-seconds. It also has a rated top speed of 155 mph. If you're feeling naughty, the new Golf R has new 'Special' and 'Drift' driving modes apart from the standard Comfort, Sport, Race, and Individual driving profiles. In Special mode, all the drive system parameters are derived and configured from hundreds of hours testing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The newest VW Golf R also has a Drift profile, allowing you to engage the vehicle in smoky drift burnouts. This mode is only accessible on the track and alters the parameter of the ESC stability control system and the power distribution between the front and rear axles. Meanwhile, the anchors are courtesy of larger 14.1-inch front brake disks with aluminum two-piston calipers.

Pricing for the 2022 VW Golf R has yet been announced, but the first U.S. deliveries are arriving later in 2021.