The 2022 VW Golf R being announced makes a certain set of auto enthusiasts geek out.  Myself included.

Because the Volkswagen Golf R means track-ready performance.  But in an affordable daily driver.  And one that’s classy.  Instead of boy-racer ‘look-at-me.’

  • 315 HP 2.0-Liter turbocharged 4-cylinder w/ 310 lb-ft of torque.
  • Drift and Special driving profiles added to Comfort, Sport, and Race.
  • Scheduled for ‘later 2021’ US availability.

When my pals at Ontario Volkswagen hooked me up with a 2019 VW Golf R to test drive, I knew something was happening with the model.  And with the heavy focus on VW’s electric vehicle transformation, we weren’t certain what would come.  But this Mk8 (Mark 8 / 8th generation) looks highly desirable.

Blue 2022 VW Golf R European passenger rear

European Model Shown Throughout Article

And now, with the suspense over, I can’t wait to get my hands on this new one!  Interestingly the formerly sporty red accents are being replaced with sporty blue accents.  (I can’t help but wonder if that will trickle down to the GTIs .)

2022 Volkswagen Golf R Exterior

So, VW is providing us press-people with pictures stating ‘European’ model.  However, we have to assume the final US product won’t be too different.  And other than the switch from red to blue it’s a very appealing new design.  Sleek, sporty, athletic, and great lines from every angle.  Plus, me personally, I’ve always had small hang-up on the hatchback thing.  And maybe it’s the new spoiler, but I’m not feeling that with this new generation.

In the front, there’s a daytime running LED light bar that stretches across the grill.  The formerly red brake calipers are now blue.  And Volkswagen states the spoiler is functional applying necessary downforce for performance.

The 20220 VW Golf R is available in three colors.  Pure White, Black Pearl Effect, and of course Lapiz Blue Metallic (shown).

Inside: 2022 VW Golf R

The interior of the 2022 VW Golf R looks futuristic-sporty, yet refined.  And not surprisingly the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit is highlighted.  With lots of Golf R specific graphics displayed on the monitors.

2022 VW Golf R cockpit European model

Steering wheel w/ haptic feedback

Nappa leather seating surfaces, blue stitching accents, and R logos on the seat backrests adorn inside.  Plus steering wheel touch controls with haptic feedback.  (That video game shaky feel.)  There’s also 30-different ambient color lighting for the dash panel.  And that’s synchronized with the doors and display.  So, okay, that’s a feature arguably tailored to the boy-racer set.  But it’s still cool!

Engine & Transmission

Now, about those horses.  Yeah, 315 of them!  That’s 27 more than the previous Golf R delivered.  And the torque has increased too.  Formerly 280 pound-feet.  The 2022 Golf R delivers 310 lb-ft of torque.  Giddy up!

Blue 2022 VW Golf R rear

315 hp & 310 lb-ft of torque

So, when it comes to the transmission you have the option for a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.  But the standard is a 6-speed manual trans.  And that’s a big driving-purists plus.  Because as more and more tech gets stuffed into our cars.  There’s less and less driver interaction.  True, we humans will never be able to shift as efficiently as a computer.  But we still have a lot of fun doing it!

Also, Volkswagen Golf R gets a new 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring.  And that leads to more agile handling than the previous Golf R.

Drive Mode Intrigue

Now about the 2022 VW Golf R Drive Modes.  As typical, you have Comfort, Sport, Race, and Individual.  But now, when you’re on the track you get “Special” and “Drift” modes.


When on the track, the Special drive move provides softer damping settings.  And that apparently ensures maximum contact with undulating road surfaces.


Also intended only for track usage.  The Drift drive mode basically deactivates traction controls and slip thresholds.  Which provides you with the opportunity to buy new tires more frequently. :0)


Quad-pipe Golf R

2022 VW Golf R at Ontario Volkswagen

For now, we’re being told ‘latter 2021’ availability.  And as all things automotive production-related, that’s a moving target.  But as soon as Ontario Volkswagen grounds a Golf R, I’ll have a complete review from behind the wheel!