Home / Social media / Cars / Volkswagen's hottest hatchback has arrived with 245 kW - the Golf 8.5 R Black Edition is a stunner!


If you’re anything like me, you have an unhealthy obsession with hot hatches. Actually, it’s not even a hot hatch thing, it’s more of a hatchback thing. While there are all sorts of wants and needs in the world of automobiles, for this here SXdrv chap a hatchback is the perfect shape for a car. It’s also why a host of SUVs appeal a lot, they’re like beefed-up hatchbacks. I find that most people I meet with a similar obsession also have another thing in common - Volkswagens. It’s probably because I was alive (albeit a bebe) when the Mk1 Golf was on sale, and the following generations were on sale during my formative years. Me mum owned a couple of Mk1s, me dad had a Mk2 Jetta and in high school, some rich kids had the Mk3 and they were all awesome. When it came time to start driving, all I wanted was a CTi, a slightly modernised Mk1 GTi with an 1800 cc lump. It was out of my reach at the time, but I did own more than a few Mk1 Golfs, and the VW brand became part of me. The current daily driver is a Mk4 GTi, it’s 20 years old this year but it’s in a really good condition. So good in fact that a new car wouldn’t give me anything that this car doesn’t give me now, besides debt. Being in the automotive game for so many years, I’m quite jaded now and think all new cars are a waste of money and a 2nd hand low mileage option is much better. But then you see things like this, the facelifted Mk8.5 Volkswagen Golf in R-spec, and you start buying lotto tickets and planning a heist because you’ll happily throw silly amounts of money at one - any amount. Over the years there have only been two brand new Golfs that made me do a proper double-take, the Mk7 Clubsport, and now the Mk 8.5 R - Black Edition. This thing ticks all the boxes for me, it has everything it needs, great looks, a tech-packed interior with premium finishings and an updated powerplant making it the most powerful Golf to date. To make it even cooler, the full R treatment can also be had on the Variant, but that only helps VW fanatics in Europe.

The new Volkswagen Golf R Black Edition is a limited-number model that will only be available at the launch of this new facelifted version of the world’s best-selling hatchback. Besides having black paint, there are a few more changes over the regular R to keep dark and deadly. It has darker VW badges and R logos, black R brake callipers with a dark R logo, black 19-inch Estoril wheels, black tailpipe trims, dark IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights, and of course, the R-Performance package, which is an optional extra for other models. The new 19-inch Warmenau forged wheels are available as an optional extra, and while some online comments have suggested the wheel is too dark for a black car, I think it looks really good. They also have the added bonus of being lightweight and they direct cool air onto the brakes which is a good thing if the car is ever taken on track for some proper fun driving. Which is what this car would do as often as possible if it ever ended up in my garage. Inside is a pair of sports seats with the iconic R logo embroidered into them, and there’s a black Nappa leather interior with carbon-look elements and blue as an option. Genuine carbon fibre accents can be had for the interior, for a price. The tech and infotainment is brilliant, what you expect in a range-topping car that will cost more than a million Rand, and there’s also ChatGPT integration to make sure when SkyNet takes over the planet, it can also direct your car to eject you off a cliff. The main thing that makes the new Golf R proper fun is the turbocharged 2.0-litre powerplant. In this spec, it’s rated at a healthy 245 kW, the most ever for a Golf of any kind. There’s also 420 Nm of torque on tap, and when that’s squeezed through the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and the 7-speed DSG transmission, it makes for a quick car. We were expecting to see a special manual version unveiled after we saw the official VW Insta post of a 6-speed manual shifter in a new car, but VW says this facelifted 8R will only be available with that DSG transmission. We’re sure this will come to SA, but as to quantities, timeframes and pricing - who knows?

Take a look at the YouTube video from the folks at Volkswagen as they take you through all the coolest bits that make up the new facelifted Mk8.5R - the flagship of the Volkswagen hatchback world: The new Golf R Black Edition Review I Volkswagen R

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