2022 Volkswagen Golf R Debuts in Chicago With 315 HP, Manual and $44,640 Price


Good old Chicago! We’ve been following the new Golf R’s drag racing exploits in Europe for many months. And now, Volkswagen has finally revealed the U.S. market 2022 Golf R hot hatch, which is everything we expected.

Just like with the GTI, the American Golf R gets the same power level as the European engine. More specifically, the 2.0 TSI is rated at 315 hp (320 PS) while torque sits at 295 lb-ft with the DSG transmission or 280 lb-ft with the six-speed manual (400 and 380 Nm, so that’s 20 Nm down vs EU). These are not huge power buffs, but it was already fast.

Volkswagen hasn’t released any performance figures, but expect a 0 to 60 time that will worry some sports car drivers. Yeah, the 2022 Golf R will be in many more drag races, just as soon as deliveries begin in Q4 2021. Obviously, you need the DSG to do those 4-second launches, but a 6-speed manual will still be available.

New for this Mk8 model is a 4Motion AWD system with rear-axle torque vectoring. It can apparently send all the power to just one rear wheel, and that’s good for having fun. The mighty R only comes in one trim level which starts at $43,645 for the manual and $44,445 for the DSG. Destination is another $995 on top of that, and you can bet Volkswagen dealers are going to mark up their only hot ticket.

It’s well equipped, with standard front and rear heated seats, three-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Harmon Kardon 480-watt audio system, and wireless charging. Styling-wise, you can immediately identify this car. It’s got a sportier bumper than the GTI, a longer trunk spoiler and the obligatory quad exhaust pipes. Silver door mirrors let people know you’ve got the fast one, as do the blue brakes.

The interior obviously looks more expensive than the GTI as well. The powered seats have fake carbon on the bolsters and you can see blue through the perforations. Meanwhile, the steering wheel looks aftermarket with those huge grips. A 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro instrument cluster is standard, as is the 10-inch infotainment screen. Good luck finding the buttons for the air conditioning, though!