Doing a bit of a timewarp we see the Mk8 Golf R in a slightly modernised shade of blue in the form of Lapiz Blue Metallic. Evolution has seen the flagship R model drop a pair of cylinders but with the addition of forced induction. This incarnation sees fitment of the next generation of VW’s much revered EA888 2.0-litre that’s rated to produce a very decent 235 kW with 400 Nm of torque. This power is sent to all four wheels via either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG transmission and the resulting performance is leaps and bounds ahead of that first generation R32. The car is now a top-tier product and so a fully loaded version will cost serious money, but the onboard tech, the build quality and the spec list, not to mention some brilliant performance means the car is on track to be a future sought-after model to display in a collection - unless fuel is still available in 20 years.
One thing that’s really cool to see at SEMA 2022 is that brand new 2004 Mk4 R32, which is probably this certain writer’s favourite car from SEMA 2022 so far, but that’s just personal bias. The reason we’re seeing this iconic Mk4 Golf at this year’s SEMA is to show the automaker’s progression of its flagship hot hatch from this first generation of the sought after all-wheel drive through to the fifth generation in the form of the new 2022 Mk8 Golf R. It was 20 years ago that the Mk4 R32 was released and back then it was quite a big deal thanks to the 3,.2-litre VR6 with a healthy 177 kW of power with a typical 6-cylinder torque rating of 320 Nm. That wasn’t what made the car special though, it’s main attraction was the Haldex all-wheel drive underpinnings along with the choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or the then new DSG transmission, also with 6 gears.
Take a look at the YouTube videos that shows both the 2022 Mk8 R and the still great-looking lines and curves of the OG Golf R in a few flyby b-roll-style beauty shots. For a 22-year-old almost classic, the Golf has actually aged pretty well. That is coming form a massive Mk4 fan and owner, so yeah, there's bias but have a look for yourself: VW USA's 2004 Mk4 R32 for SEMA 2023 | CWM
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