You might want to sit down before reading this.
Volkswagen recently announced a slew of changes to its lineup for the 2020 model year. Among the changes were adjustments to price, trim levels, and features, but hidden among all the news was a major announcement - the Golf R has been discontinued after 2019. The news was easy to miss because the Golf R was absent among the changes for 2020.
Instead, Volkswagen will offer the base Golf (in a single trim) while the GTI model has been reduced from four trims down to two. This is upsetting news for fans of VW's ultimate hot hatchback but a VW spokesperson has confirmed to CarBuzz that "With the Wolfsburg factory preparing for the changeover to the next generation of Golf models, the Golf R will take a brief hiatus before returning as an Mk8."
VW has already said the Mk8 Golf will arrive in the US in GTI and R guises, likely as 2021 models, while the base model will be for Europe and other markets only. The Golf has always played second fiddle to the Jetta in the US market, where sedans are far more popular than hatchbacks. Little is known about what will power the next-generation Golf GTI and Golf R but a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is almost guaranteed, possibly with a mild-hybrid system.
As for the 2019 Golf R, we'd say go buy one while you still can before supplies run out. Go grab one with a custom Spektrum color because it could be more valuable to a VW enthusiast later down the line.
For 2020, the only base Golf you will be able to buy is called the Value Edition, which will include a next-generation Car-Net telematics system, standard in-car WiFi capability, keyless access with push-button start, heated leatherette seats, a sunroof, heated washer nozzles, and 16-inch wheels. The GTI loses the Autobahn and Rabbit Edition trims and will now be available in S and SE trims. VW will also offer an Autobahn Package for the SE model, which adds features from the old Autobahn trim including built-in navigation, dual-zone climate control, Fender premium audio, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, and light assist.