Golf 8 R

235 kW 420 Nm all-wheel drive Golf 8 R has Nürburgring, Drift modes

Volkswagen has revealed the Golf 8 R. Meet the fastest and most powerful Golf yet.

The newcomer gets an evolved 235 kW 420 Nm 2-litre turbo four-pot petrol EA888 Evo4 engine. It brings subtle power and torque boosts and peak torque spread all the way from 2100 to 5350rpm. To help 0-100 km/h down by 0.2sec to 4.7 seconds. Top speed is 250km/h, but the returning optional R pack delimits the top Golf for a 270km/h Vmax.


Golf 8 R steals the torque-vectoring Arteon and Tiguan’s fully variable torque vectoring all-wheel drive. It adds variable drive between the rear wheels, rather than just between the front and rear axles. A pair of electronically operated multi-disc clutches can balance output across the axle from 0-100% within milliseconds.

20mm lowered suspension also gets increased front camber, 10% increased stabiliser and spring rates. And tweaked steering software for ‘more responsive and direct turn-in’. Add a 3kg lighter front aluminium subframe, improved 17mm larger brakes with an uprated master cylinder. They carry 1.2kg less unsprung mass for ‘crisp and precise’ pedal response.

The R Pack also adds two new driving modes via the wheel-mounted R button. Special is tuned specifically for the Nürburgring, where the new Golf R is said to lap the Nordscheife 17 seconds quicker than the outgoing car. And Drift for hooligans ‘away from public roads’.

A 7kg lighter valve controlled Akrapovic titanium performance exhaust system is once again available to help hoon even harder at maximum exhaust volume. The old Race mode is attained by a hard prod.


Visually, the Golf R retains that suspension drop and gets a new illuminated blue strip across the grille atop a racy front splitter. There’s an aggressive black diffuser and quad exhaust tailpipes at the rear. Bespoke 18” wheel designs frame blue brake callipers. The R pack adds a larger rear spoiler and a set of 19” wheels.

Step inside to discover sports seats with blue inserts, a sports multifunction steering wheel. Stainless-steel pedals and R-specific infotainment touchscreen and instrument displays for those latest in VW infomatics.

Golf R is the fifth a broader new VW performance line-up overseas. Alongside the similarly powered Arteon R and Tiguan R, as well as the Touareg R and T-Roc R. It will be in SA soon too, alongside the rest of the all new Golf 8 range.

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