Home / Social media / News / Iconic Golf R32 meets it’s modern day counterpart Mk8 Golf R at SEMA 2022


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.

The car originated in the UK, and in 2004 a total of 5 000 units headed to the USA for the hatchback fans. Those 5 000 units were all in 2-door configuration and featured a special 3-grille front bumper, side skirts, a rear hatch spoiler, and a rear valance with dual-exit exhausts. The car had a unique soundtrack from the showroom floor, but with an aftermarket exhaust system the R32 had an amazing purr. It was only available in four colours for this market, namely Deep Blue, Reflex Silver, Tornado Red and Black Magic. There’s always massive debate as to which is the best, and even though I roll in a Reflex Silver Mk4 GTi, I think in R trim it just has to be in Deep Blue, as seen in these pics. Changes extended to the interior and the hatch was fitted with a thicker sports-style steering wheel along with some very tasty sports seats that can fetch as much money as a running regular GTI these days when they come up for sale, on the very rare occasion. There’s some aluminium accents scattered around the cabin along with the now widely recognisable R logo. The 18-inch multi-spoke wheels looked amazing and are also quite the sought after wheels in the VW communities.

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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