Don’t get too excited; this isn’t a U.S. market 2022 Golf R, as Volkswagen has barely begun showing people the new GTI. But all of them are supposed to be made in Germany now, so the outcome of the drag race is relevant everywhere.
Let’s presume that you want the Golf R simply because of the performance of its 2.0-liter turbo engine. Do you pay your VW dealer a lot of money for the 2022 model or get the older 7th-generation and have it tuned?
The older Golf R in this drag race is actually still fairly new, so we doubt it’s cheap to buy, but let’s just focus on the power gains. Archie Hamilton, the host of the race, says it’s making something like 440 horsepower, but that’s not what we see on the piece of paper in his hand.
The graphs tell us the 2.0 TSI went from 324 hp to 416 hp while torque has increased from 443 to 559 Nm (327 lb-ft to 412 lb-ft). So either that’s the graph for the new Golf 8 R being tuned or Arche is wrong… or both.
It’s difficult to believe that a simple tune can extract “440 hp” from a Golf R engine, especially when the presenter says it cost just £600. The car has a cat-back exhaust, a downpipe, and an intake, and all of those must have been installed before the tune, giving it that extra 20 or so horsepower.
As for the new model, it belongs to Archie, and we looked everywhere for signs that it’s been tuned. But as of this month, all we can find is that it’s got a Milltek exhaust system and some expensive 20-inch Vossen wheels which probably aren’t good for drag racing. However, older videos showed how the latest 2.0 TSI actually makes about 335 hp, more than VW claims.
Let’s see if the drag race supports our theories. Yeah, even though the Golf 8 R drive says “it’s close, it’s very close” the gap between the two cars is substantial. You have to remember this is the same type of engine, a 2.0-liter turbo, so you’re not going to see a cavern appear between them no matter how much tuning is done. But what the heck happened with the intro? There’s no way Archie filmed it, lost badly, went through editing, and still believes he’s got 440 horsepower.