Get ready for drift mode.
The connoisseur's hot hatch is back for 2022 and with a big drivetrain update. Volkswagen has honed the Golf R to an even finer edge by swapping the outgoing model's rear-end Haldex clutchpack for a pair of multiplate clutches that can deliver up to 100 percent of the rear torque to each wheel. That would be 50 percent of the total torque, as the maximum split between front and rear with the new 4motion system is 50-50.
Creating torque vectoring at the rear of the Golf R's all-wheel-drive system is a huge upgrade, and with it, Volkswagen has introduced a track-only drift mode.
The torque vectoring system uses data such as speed, power application, and yaw through a corner to decide how much extra power needs to be delivered to the outside wheel. The system reacts in milliseconds to help reduce the cornering radius, and now the system is connected to the Vehicle Dynamics Manager. That means 4motion now works in conjunction with the Golf R's electronic differential locks, single-wheel braking, and adaptive damping system. As a result, those systems can come together to correct understeer or oversteer when needed.
The Golf R's drift mode can only be activated in Track Mode, but as the system can't send 100 percent of the drive to the rear wheels, it's still going to take a little talent to get the rear end stepped out. Also added to the R's reworked Driving Mode Selection is a "Special" setting that configures Volkswagen's Nurburgring Nordschleife track performance settings. The special setting optimizes torque vectoring for the track's cornering profile while adjusting the suspension damping settings to become softer.
The 2022 Golf R model will be with us at the end of 2022 with a price of around $45,000 and the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine delivering 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.