Reader, I have a confession to make: I saw that Volkswagen finally unveiled the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R last night around 6:30 p.m., but I did not act on this news, because [vaguely gestures]. Though I did have a laugh, that VW thought that unveiling this car at that moment in history was a great idea.
There was a U.S. presidential election, you see, the result of which we still don’t know. But now that I’ve caught my breath a bit I can catch everyone up on the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R, which will make a claimed 235kW from its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, what Volkswagen says is the most powerful Golf ever. All-wheel drive will be standard, though VW also says it has a “world-first” system that will see the all-wheel drive (called 4Motion) interact with the electronic differential locks and damping system.
Basically, the car will send power to the various wheels as it best sees fit, which won’t do a whole lot for straight-line speed but will make it grippier in the turns.
More on that from Volkswagen:
A newly developed rear differential distributes the power variably between the front and rear axles — and, now, between the left and right rear wheels. The differential from the 4Motion drive system normally transfers the power in a 50:50 ratio via a multi-plate clutch to the left and the right-hand rear wheels, even when the differential lets them rotate at different speeds when cornering. The new 4Motion all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring, however, can also distribute the torque variably between both rear wheels, with up to 100 per cent able to be directed to the wheel on the outside of the bend. This reduces the cornering radius and helps to eliminate understeer. This leads to noticeably more agile handling than its predecessor.
And here’s a bit more from VW on the “world-first” system, called the Vehicle Dynamics Manager:
In the Golf R, the intelligent system not only closely integrates the electronic differential locks (XDS) and cornering performance of the DCC system, but also — for the first time — the 4Motion all-wheel drive system during every driving manoeuvre. In this process, adapting the individual wheel damping (200 times a second) can help with particularly agile and accurate handling.
The Vehicle Dynamics Manager also enables exact calculation of optimal clutch control for the selective wheel torque control function to further optimise the agility and stability of the Golf R. In parallel to this, targeted braking intervention on the vehicle side on the inside of a bend further reduces understeer in the transition and limit ranges. Traction is improved by increased locking in the selective wheel torque control, and vehicle handling is slightly more biased towards the rear.
The program can also help optimise yaw and load change damping at high speeds. Since the Vehicle Dynamics Manager now monitors the car’s handling on every corner, it is able to specifically correct any understeer or oversteer. For example: If early application of the throttle in a corner causes the Golf R to understeer too heavily in a corner, the Vehicle Dynamics Manager closes the selective wheel torque control clutch on the wheel located on the outside of the bend. The result: a yaw moment is generated on the rear axle, which turns the Golf R neutrally into the bend and reduces the understeer.
The horsepower rating is 27 more than the outgoing Golf R, and VW says it gets a zero-to-60 mph time is 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 249 km/h. Manual will also still be offered because take rates in the U.S. are actually a bit impressive. Autoblog got some more details from VW:
We learned sending the manual to the automotive ash heap wasn’t an option in the United States, because about 40% of R and GTI buyers order their car with three pedals.
“We fought extremely hard to retain [the manual transmission]. There are other brands in the United States that are slowly but surely starting to phase the manuals out, but we pushed to keep it. It’s important, it is a driver’s car,” Hein Schafer, the firm’s senior vice president of production marketing and strategy, told Autoblog.
VW did not release pricing information, but you can expect it to start at around $US40,000 ($55,872), as its predecessor did. The Golf R, as ever, is for GTI lovers who have slightly better jobs. This car will be pissed off and a blast at the track. Volkswagen might have given up on making money in the U.S. for now but as long as they bring the manual Golf R, things are good.