The VW Golf R Owner's Manual Features A Mysterious Unannounced 328 HP Powertrain

It would appear every owner of a new Volkswagen Golf R in the UK has a surprise waiting on page 347 of the owner’s manual. The book seems to suggest that an engine tune worth up to 13 horsepower more than the current model may be available at some point. Perhaps this more powerful trim is coming soon — that is, if it’s not just a typo in the manual.

VolksWizard uploaded a video to YouTube showing a UK-market manual for the eight-generation Golf R test car. The video says the manual seems to show an unannounced powertrain option with 245 kW, or just over 328 HP, as Carscoops also picked up. That’s 13 HP more than the Golf R now on sale; there appears to be no increase in torque over the current Golf R.


It’s unfortunate to learn your car has an easy 13 HP sitting in there and the automaker is clearly holding back from you having it just to cash out on a newer trim, or update, later on. And to learn it from your own car’s guide to survival, too. What a betrayal. Then again, the last-gen Golf R had a huge chip-tuning culture and you could get some fairly affordable power. It’s bound to happen again, from VW itself or not.

Volkswagen UK’s website frustratingly does not make the owner’s manual available online without a Vehicle Identification Number, though a note does claim it’s being worked on. Jalopnik has reached out to Volkswagen to confirm the text included in the UK owner’s manual for the R as its been reported, and whether a more powerful tune or future trim of the Golf R will soon be available, as this would suggest. This article will be updated with more information when it’s available.


The eighth-generation VW Golf R produces 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque and has all-wheel drive. Prices start in the UK at £40,000 GBP. This 315 HP version will go on sale in the U.S. later this year as a 2022 model, and is likely to be priced just above the old Golf R’s near-$40,000 MSRP.

What exactly could be worth holding back 13 horsepower on VW’s end? What’s the logic there? Is that really enough to sell a different trim later, or are they saving it for the two-to-three year refresh? Maybe it’s just a typo, too. Hopefully they will clear this up, or I will just have to get a Golf R myself, plug it into an iPad and figure it out from there!


Reviews Editor, Jalopnik

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VW doesn’t need to build this. In fact, they shouldn’t build this. The car is just a play to enthusiasts and isn’t about the future. What they should do instead is replace this car with a self-driving electric SUV, because that’s what “The People’s Wagon” really should be about.

The Golf Rs are fan service at best, a distraction at worst. It’s time to leave these cars behind.