There are a lot of skin-deep changes, in addition to the extra muscle and capability.
The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R comes out before the end of this year, and we'll be driving it in less than a month through the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Needless to say, we're excited. Before that happens, VW gave us a slightly deeper dive on the design of its hottest hatch, which differs in some big ways from its GTI counterpart.
It has several hallmarks you might have missed, along with some new features grabbed from its latest generation ICE and electric vehicles. And we're not just talking about its exterior sheetmetal and styling here, the Mk.8 Golf R will be next generation in every way.
It starts with the extra-aggressive R-specific front bumper, which features splitters and side intakes that the GTI doesn't. The R also gets a strip of blue in the upper grille that rests on top of a another strip, this one illuminated, similar to the electric VW ID.4 and a few others.
It flares out from the VW logo and merges with the daytime running lights, creating an eyebrow above the headlights. The R logo sits on the right. Standard LED headlights sit below the LED strip. VW says this creates an "iconic" look. We're not sure that's true, but it does feed into our semi-proven theory that lighting signatures are now more important than badges.
From the side, in addition to the strong hot hatch proportions, the Golf R gets 19-inch black machined aluminum alloy wheels and blue R-branded brake calipers. The AWD Golf has body-color sill extensions as opposed to the black plastic ones on the GTI. We also get matte aluminum mirror caps and R logo puddle lights.
In back there is a new R bumper, a special R-spec high-gloss black diffuser and quad-tipped exhaust, another big tip off from the GTI. The R logo goes below the VW logo with LED taillights. The R is only offered in Lapiz Blue Metallic, Pure White and Deep Black Pearl for 2022. If you see one of those colors, your best bet is an R.
But like we said, there are changes to the skin, but also deeper. Inside the Golf R comes with a new peforated leather steering wheel, blue stitching, R-specific paddle shifters as well as sport seats with integrated headrests and blue R logos. It'll also come with VW's Digital Cockpit Pro driver cluster with a lap timer, its MIB3 infotainment system and a head-up display. VW's new Climatronic climate control is also here, with sliders for temperatures as opposed to buttons. So far we've found them better than buttons but not as good as dials.
Check back in a month for the review, and look for the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R to hit the streets soon with a base price of $43,645 for the manual and $44,445 for the DSG variant.