Volkswagen has announced at the Chicago Auto Show that the newest generation of the 2022 Golf GTI will have an MSRP of $29,545 and come in S, SE and Autobahn trims. But if you really want to push the limits, there’s a Golf R that starts at $43,645.
These are Mark 8 Golf models and are powered by VW’s EA888 2.0-liter engine, which produces 241 horsepower in GTI guise or 315 in the Golf R, and which can be paired with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The cars come with what Volkswagen calls “new vehicle dynamics settings” designed to improve handling. They also offer a 10.25-inch touch screen that VW calls the Digital Cockpit Pro, and a 30-color ambient interior lighting system.
“The previous Golf GTI and Golf R models were widely regarded as the best hot hatches you could buy, but the Mark 8 versions up the ante,” Hein Schafer, VW of America’s senior vice president for product marketing and strategy, is quoted.“Now built in Wolfsburg, the cars have more performance, better handling, more standard equipment and improved tech features, yet minimal price increases.”
The new-generation Golfs are slightly longer than previous models (though have the same wheelbase), and have what VW terms “a fresh face courtesy of a more sharply raked hood, new signature LED headlights and an available light bar in the grille either side of the updated VW logo.
“The GTI bears distinctive new X-shaped fog lights and new wheel designs along with the classic honeycomb lower grille, red grille line, red brake calipers and dual exhaust tips. Inside, GTI models still incorporate the golf ball design into the manual shift knob and boast standard plaid seats, though the eighth-generation car wears a new “Scalepaper” tartan pattern.
Golf R models have a blue grille line and brake calipers, a new wheel design, more aggressive front and rear bumpers and diffusers than on GTI, a large two-piece rear spoiler, body-colored side sill extensions, and a quad-tipped exhaust system.
The Golf R gets a new 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with rear-axle torque vectoring and provides what VW terms “a new level of performance for its category.”
VW adds, “The previous generation’s 4Motion system could send up to 50 percent of the engine’s total power to the rear axle via a multi-plate clutch. The new torque-vectoring system in the 2022 Golf R uses a rear differential with two multi-plate clutches that can distribute up to 100 percent of the rear torque to an individual rear wheel.
“This system is designed to apportion power between the wheels based on speed, power application, yaw and other factors. In a typical corner, the system can direct more power to the wheel on the outside of the curve in a matter of milliseconds, reducing the cornering radius.”