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2022 VW Golf R Track Test Concludes It's the Ultimate Thoroughbred Pocket Rocket

The VW Golf R has taken a long hiatus, but finally it’s back, rightfully taking its spot as the hottest hatch on the market. With a genus developed for the track, the new Golf R is for motor enthusiasts looking for much more than the Golf GTI offers.
2022 VW Golf R 7 photos
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Jakub and Yuri from TheStraightPipes got the chance to drive the new 2022 VW Golf R at the Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario, Canada.

While the Golf R doesn’t look as aggressive as the GTI, it is more upscale and rolls out as a monospec. It has a starting price of $44,640 and competes with the Subaru STi and the Civic Type-R.

Behind the wheel, the effect of the 4motion all-wheel-drive system is immediate. According to Yuri, this system is fantastic around the corners compared to the previous generation Golf R.

The new Golf R comes with a lot more tweaks on the suspension for agility. For instance, you can send up to 50 percent of available torque to the rear end, and 100 percent of that torque to each wheel at the back - all thanks to an individual multi-plate clutch system.

The fun factor doesn’t end there. This hot hatch puts down 315 hp and 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) of torque from a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. The powerful engine directs the power to a 6-speed manual transmission running on a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. There’s also an optional 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The 2022 Golf R comes with the same EA 888 engine in the GTI but is up-tuned. It can do the 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 4.3 seconds with the automatic transmission. It’s not a crazy difference from the previous generation,  offering 27 hp more - but a lot more compared to the Civic Type-R.

The interior is different. It comes with a circular design, a sort-of carbon fiber-like dash, comfortable seats, wireless charger, and an updated infotainment system. Jakub and Yuri don’t like the touch features on the infotainment. It is a deal-breaker in their opinion, and Yuri feels it should have a few hard buttons for climate and radio.

All in all, the new Golf is a sophisticated piece of machinery for enthusiasts with a love for refinement, speed, and precision.

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