The Volkswagen Golf R as we knew and loved it is sadly dead forever, but the good news is the automaker just teased the reveal of the all-new eighth-generation model to debut this Wednesday. So far we know it’s got the clean new VW logo and a clean new R badge, and it’ll come in blue. Great start.
There was a lot to like about the now-gone 7th-gen Golf R. Its 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder made up to 288 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque applied through all four wheels and, while it had a great DSG automatic transmission, it also came with an optional manual for awhile. The stick even reportedly made up nearly half of Golf R and GTI sales in North America. Popular because both hot hatches offer a no bullshit sleeper that gave you just about everything you could want in a hot hatch.
And now VW is going to try again with the updated car. The standard eighth-gen Golf debuted for the European market earlier this year, but for now, we’ll only be getting the performance variants of the new-gen Golf in America. That includes the recently-announced 242 HP 2021 Golf GTI which is confirmed to still come with either a 7-speed DSG automatic or 6-speed manual transmission, and now the new R we’ll see next week.
Volkswagen has teased that the new R will be the “most powerful” Golf ever, I’m guessing as far as “road-going production Golfs” are concerned. The fact that the manual returned for the GTI in the U.S. is a good indication that we’ll also get a chance to stick-shift the new R, as well, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Racing driver and TV host Tanner Foust seems to be excited, tweeting a teaser featuring a VW model that isn’t even a Golf? Which ends with a title card announcing the reveal of an actual new Golf R on Wednesday.
As far as what the “most powerful Golf ever” could actually look like, it will likely produce a similar if not identical performance output to the new Audi S3 that debuted back in August. Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group of automotive brands, and the previous-generation VW Golf R shared most of its powertrain with the previous-generation S3. The new S3 now makes 305 HP (310 PS) and 295 lb-ft of torque, so it’s safe to expect the new R to land around there. Of course, the R also has no reason to drop its all-wheel-drive setup, so that’s a safe bet too.
Speaking of the S3, the Golf R has traditionally undercut the price of the Audi by at least a couple of grand, but pricing for either new car hasn’t been announced yet. Still, expect the VW to be a bit of a deal (though over $40,000) — even if you remember that we almost got a new R and S3 with a five-cylinder. That would have just been fun, but oh well.