Volkswagen introduces new Golf GTI and Golf R at Chicago Auto Show
Volkswagen has introduced the eighth generation of the Golf hot hatch models, the GTI and the R. These "Mark 8" models feature an updated engine, new vehicle dynamics settings, and a new electronics architecture – alongside a higher price tag. Staying is the manual transmission option for both.
The Mk8 Golf GTI and Golf R debuted at the Chicago Auto Show as 2022 model year offerings for the North American market. New designs for both cars add performance and functionality. The GTI model begins at US$29,545 in its base (of three) trim levels while the R model will sell for $43,645 in a single trim point.
Both models feature a newly-tuned 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with an output of 241 horsepower (180 kW) and 315 HP (235 kW) respectively for the GTI and R models. This pairs with either a six-speed manual transmission (standard) or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The Golf R features all-wheel drive as standard, with the ability to send up to 50 percent of the torque to the rear axle, as before.
Now, however, 100 percent of an axle’s torque can be sent to one wheel via a newly upgraded torque vectoring system. The rear axle of the R features multi-plate clutches on the rear axle for torque distribution. Power is apportioned based on speed, power application, yaw, and other metrics. In a typical corner, for example, the system will direct more power to the outside wheel, to reduce the cornering radius and improve stability.
The new body design for the Golf models is slightly longer, but retains the styling marks of its predecessors with the distinctive C-pillar and signature Golf "square edge" bodywork. The hood is lower and more raked, creating a thinner front fascia and faster pace to the cars. LED headlights and an available grille lightbar add to that look. The honeycombed lower grille is accented by X-shaped fog lamps on either side that also match the X-shaped rear tail lamps. GTI models retain the golfball shifter on the manual’s knob and plaid seating (now in Scalepaper tartan) as standard.
Golf R models will be differentiated with a blue grille line, blue brake calipers, a unique wheel design, and more aggressive bumpers and diffusers. A two-piece rear spoiler, side sill extensions, and a quad-tipped exhaust complete the look. Both the GTI and R have unique paint options, with seven for the GTI and three for the R.
In both the GTI and R a new 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro display is standard, incorporating most of the expected features of an infotainment system as well as driver-assistance feature toggles and car status information, including driving information. Upgrading to the Discover Pro edition adds navigation and the ability to place the navigation map into the driver’s information cluster as well as or instead of the center display.
Volkswagen is also offering a complete suite of driver assistance technologies for the Golf GTI and Golf R, including semi-automated driving and parking options. Advanced safety features such as forward collision warning, automated emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring are also included.
VW is aiming to have the new 2022 Golf models in US dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2021.