The top dog in the Volkswagen Golf range is the R model, and we’re currently on the Mk8 version of the turbocharged all-wheel drive car. The Golf R has always been a special model having more power and features than the rest of the range along with some bespoke styling options that make sure you know you’re not looking at a regular GTi. Volkswagen and the R model are one of the many automakers celebrating a milestone anniversary in 2022. In this case if for 20 years of the Volkswagen Golf R, and that’s quite clearly the reason this new special edition is called the Golf R 20 Years. Note that it’s not quite a limited edition, because there’s no mention of a cap on the numbers produced, which is the VW way after all. Also in typical VW fashion, this 20 Years edition features a few choice tweaks and changes, enough to make it the fastest R ever to post a time on the infamous Nürburgring-Nordschleife track that’s become the world standard for assessing a car’s prowess.
The story of the R version of the German hatchback started in 2002 with the Mk4 Golf R32. This model was completely different to the same generation GTi which had a turbocharged 1800cc 4-cylinder that had 132 kW on tap in the most sought-after guise. This first R sa3w fitment of a 3.2-litre VR6 engine that made a claimed 177 kW (238 hp) and as if the motor swap wasn’t enough the clever techs fitted the Mk4 chassis with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system along with the first proper production dual-clutch DSG transmission. Back then this Golf could hit 100 km/h in a healthy 6.4-seconds. If you swap that figure around to 4.6-seconds you have the 0 - 100 km/h time of this special edition 20 Years Golf R. This is possible thanks to 20 years of evolution that has resulted in a 245 kW (330 hp) from a turbocharged 2.0-litre lump and a brilliant all-wheel drive system. This is guaranteed to become a collector’s must-have model.
This new Golf R 20 Years stopped the clock at 7:47.31 minutes, a brilliant time on the 20+ km track that’s four seconds quicker than the predecessor. Touring car and Volkswagen R development driver Benjamin Leuchter was the pilot for this test session who did the deed keeping the car in the “Special” driving profile that was developed for use on this track. This profile adjusts the shock absorbers to a softer, more comfortable setting “due to the enormous loads at the maximum performance level when driving on such tracks.” which sounds a lil’ counterintuitive, but hey. “With this car, I can drive here on the Nürburgring and the next stop is then the bakers or the DIY store. The vehicle is really an all-rounder that can do everything,” said a visibly impressed Benjamin Leuchter.
Take a look at the YouTube video that explains the differences between the regular Volkswagen Golf 8 R and the new special edition 20 Years model that's just proved itself on the famed Nürburgring-Nordschleife: Tech Tuesday: Golf R „20 Years“ Special Edition Part 1 | Volkswagen R
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This video shows what went in to making this new Volkswagen Golf R record on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.