The new Golf R1 with 320 PS and new all-wheel drive –world premiere of the most powerful production Golf of all time
News at a glance
- The flagship of the product line: With an output of 235 kW (320 PS), the exclusive Golf R is now the most powerful model in Volkswagen’s best-selling product line
- World premiere: The Vehicle Dynamics Manager integrates the all-wheel drive system with the adaptive chassis control (DCC) and electronic differential lock XD
- Confident driving dynamics: The new Golf R accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h as standard
- Up to 270 km/h: Optional R-Performance package enables the top speed to be increased and offers additional profiles, Special and Drift
- 4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring: All-wheel drive system with new rear axle drive allows maximum driving dynamics
- R button: Standard driving profile selection includes a Race profile that can be activated directly from the sports steering wheel
- Powerful brake system: The new 18-inch brakes ensure superior deceleration from every speed range
- Customised: The new sports car is equipped with a standard Digital Cockpit Pro that has been especially programmed for the Golf R
- Exclusive equipment: The basic package for the Golf R includes premium sports seats, a navigation system, background lighting and 18-inch alloy wheels
Summary – the new Golf R
Wolfsburg, October 2020. Volkswagen is extending its range of sporty Golf models at high speed. Following the debut of the GTI, GTI Clubsport, GTE and GTD, the brand is now launching the dynamic flagship model of the eighth Golf generation: the new Golf R. With an output of 235 kW (320 PS), it is the most powerful of all Golf models. The product line’s new flagship model delivers 420 newton metres of torque to the standard all-wheel drive system. The fifth edition of the sports car accelerates to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. However, the Golf R can also be ordered with an optional R-Performance package, which enables the top speed to be increased to 270 km/h. The R-Performance package also comes with a larger rear spoiler that is open towards the roof (extra downforce on the rear axle) as well as 19-inch instead of 18-inch wheels and two additional driving profiles, Special (Nürburgring mode) and Drift.
4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring. The Golf R comes with a newly developed all-wheel drive system with selective wheel torque control on the rear axle – known as 4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring. Here a new rear axle drive distributes the drive power not just between the front and rear axles, but also between the two rear wheels. This makes it possible to significantly increase the agility of the Golf R, particularly when cornering. As a world first, the all-wheel drive is also networked via a Vehicle Dynamics Manager (VDM) with other running gear systems such the electronic differential locks (XDS) and adaptive chassis control DCC. Thanks to this close integration of the different systems, the new Golf R offers optimum traction characteristics, neutral handling with the utmost level of precision, maximum agility and, last but not least, maximum driving pleasure.
Nürburgring profile. The new model underwent its final tuning on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race track. When combined with the R-Performance package, the Golf R even comes with a special driving profile for the Nürburgring, known as Special. In the Special driving profile, all of the main drive system parameters were configured for the Nordschleife – including the new 4MOTION all-wheel drive system with R-Performance Torque Vectoring for the first time. And the results are measurable: as shown during in-house test drives, the Golf R – which is equipped with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) as standard – is up to 17 seconds quicker on the Nürburgring Nordschleife than its predecessor. Another feature of the R-Performance package is the Drift profile, which opens up a whole new level of driving dynamics away from public roads and makes the experience behind the wheel even more fun. Volkswagen will begin selling the new Golf R from the end of November; the presales period for the first European markets will start on 5 November.
Front end. Common features of all five generations of the Golf R include the permanent all-wheel drive, a customised design and an equipment package that is exclusive as it is sporty. In the exterior design of the new Golf R, this includes the new front bumper with an R-style design, featuring a motorsport-style splitter (front spoiler), side wings as large air guide elements (painted in exterior colour) and R-specific air intake grilles. All black elements have a high-gloss finish. The sensors for the front Park Distance Control (Park Assist) have been integrated into the bumper. In the top radiator grille, the Golf features a blue crossbar typical for R models. For the first time, this lights up as an LED strip as soon as the engine starts and stretches all the way into the wings as a daytime running light. The standard LED headlights are located directly under the LED light strip. On the right-hand side of the radiator grille, the distinctive R logo serves a reference to the drive system of the most powerful Golf.
Silhouette. Like all models in the eighth generation of this product line, the Golf R is a five-door model. The distinctive features of the R-model’s side design include the 18-inch Jerez alloy wheels, exclusive side sills, exterior mirror housing covers in matt chrome (including R projection onto the road when the Golf R is opened and closed) and lower running gear, which is 20 millimetres lower than the standard production model. Easy to spot through the standard 18-inch wheels: the blue brake calipers for the large 18-inch brake system. The Golf R can also be configured with optional 19-inch alloy wheels. Here, customers can choose between Estoril (burnished spokes and inner surfaces in black, or complete wheel in black) or Adelaide (burnished spokes and inner surfaces in black) wheels. Other options include 18-inch Bergamo alloy wheels (winter wheels) and 19-inch semi-slicks (tyres) for the race track.
Rear end. Another unique design element in the Golf R is the rear bumper, which now incorporates the also newly designed black high-gloss diffuser. It is framed at the sides by the elegant, chrome-plated twin tailpipes for the standard sports exhaust system. The four flap-controlled exhaust pipes are another hallmark feature of the Golf R. Volkswagen will also once again offer an optional seven kilograms lighter Akrapovič titanium exhaust system for the new Golf R where the sound can also be controlled via flaps. The R logo is located underneath the VW badge in the middle of the boot lid. A roof spoiler ensures the necessary level of downforce on the rear axle. Like all Golf models, the new R is also equipped with LED tail light clusters as standard.
Three sporty exterior colours. The new Golf R can be configured in three different colours. Lapiz Blue Metallic is the signature colour for the R. The Volkswagen will also be available in Pure White or Deep Black Pearl Effect – traditional colours for sporty Golf models.
Customised displays. With the debut of the Golf 8, Volkswagen has digitalised a broad spectrum of displays and controls in its globally best-selling product line (more than 35 million units sold to date). In the new Golf R, this has enabled the graphics in the standard Discover Media infotainment system (including features such as 10-inch screen, navigation system, and voice control) and the Discover Cockpit Pro (fully digital instruments also available at no extra cost) to be adapted specifically to the new Golf R. For instance, the Discover Media system greets the driver with a new R welcome screen as soon as the vehicle is opened with either the vehicle key with a special R finish or using the optional keyless locking and starting system Keyless Access.
Digital Cockpit Pro with R-View. A unique graphic appearance with an R logo also characterises the Digital Cockpit Pro. A variety of layouts can be accessed using the View button on the new multifunction steering wheel: in addition to the familiar views from other models in the product line, the Digital Cockpit Pro in the Golf R offers a “Sport skin”, featuring a central round rev counter with an R-specific design including the R logo. The Golf R also offers a completely new 3D-look with numerical fields, known as the R-View. As an exclusive feature, there is a new, horizontal rev counter at the top edge of the display. The scale for this flat, horizontal display ranges from 0 to 8 (equivalent to 0 to 8,000 rpm). When manual DSG mode is also activated, this display provides easily visible gear-change recommendations in Special and Drift driving profiles. These are shown in the form of shift lights. In manual DSG mode, the driver either uses the shift-by-wire buttons on the centre console or the paddles on the steering wheel to perform manual gear shifts. When driving on race tracks in particular, the gear recommendations shown by the “shift lights” provide valuable assistance for the driver because automatic upshifts are intentionally deactivated in the Special and Drift driving profiles. As additional information, the Digital Cockpit Pro in the Golf R can also display current data such as the charge pressure, gearbox temperature, torque, power, a G-meter (G forces) and the torque distribution of the all-wheel drive. The Digital Cockpit Pro in the Golf R is also equipped with a lap timer for the race track.
Premium sports seats and steering wheel with R button. The interior equipment in the Golf R has also been customised and enhanced. The driver and front passenger sit on the top-of-the-range sports seats of the new Golf generation with integrated head restraints. The inner surfaces of the seats in Sardegna design are black-blue, while the outer areas are in ArtVelours. The inner surfaces of the backrests are finished with an R logo. Also optionally available: seats in black nappa leather, featuring carbon-look elements with blue accents in the side sections, as well as a blue R logo in the backrest. The multifunction leather sports steering wheel has also been give an specific design: it comes with ergonomically shaped DSG paddles that are larger than the standard production version, a blue steering wheel mark at the 6 o’clock position, blue contrast stitching and an R button for direct selection of the various driving profiles. A more forceful press of the R button also activates Race profile directly. Dash panel applications in carbon look, R-specific door trim, floor mats with the R logo, and pedal caps and a driver foot rest made of brushed stainless steel are also included in the extended standard equipment package for the Golf R, along with a black headliner and background lighting (30 colours) that is synchronised with the display for the dash panel and doors.
EA888 evo4. The 1,984 cc four-cylinder turbocharged engine in the new Golf R is currently the most powerful drive system from the legendary EA888 product line. While its predecessor was equipped with a third-generation unit (evo3), the latest model now comes with an enhanced fourth-generation design (evo4). Delivering 235 kW (320 PS), its output is exactly 14 kW (20 PS) more than the engine used in the previous model. The maximum torque has risen from 400 to 420 Nm. This is available even at low engine speeds of just 2,100 rpm and remains constantly at this high level up to speeds of 5,350 rpm. The direct-injection engine is generally characterised by innovative solutions for individual details such as integration of water-cooled exhaust gas routing to the turbocharger in the cylinder head. Thanks to a fully-electronic coolant regulator unit, the TSI of the Golf R also features very efficient thermal management with a short warm-up phase. The resultant reduction in friction losses contributes to reducing fuel consumption. The TSI also features variable valve timing with double camshaft control. In addition, the valve lift can be switched in two stages on the exhaust side. This solution permits optimum control of gas exchange with respect to performance, consumption and exhaust emissions. The new Golf R easily complies with the latest Euro 6d-ISC-FCM emission standard. The TSI engine transfers its power to the standard 7-speed DSG dual clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive.
The all-wheel drive system
4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring. The Golf R comes equipped with a new all-wheel drive system with the designation 4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring. A newly developed rear axle drive distributes the drive power variably between the front and rear axles – and as a new feature, also variably between the left and right rear wheels. Here’s how it works: the differential from the 4MOTION drive system familiar from other Volkswagen MQB models (MQB: modular transverse matrix) transfers the power via a multi-plate clutch to the left and the right-hand rear wheels with a ratio of 50:50 – even when the differential lets them rotate at different speeds when cornering. The new 4MOTION all-wheel drive system with R-Performance Torque Vectoring function, however, can also distribute the torque variably between both rear wheels. Thanks to the wheel-selective power at the wheels, up to 100 percent of the possible torque can be directed to the wheel on the outside of the bend. This reduces the cornering radius and understeer is eliminated. This leads to noticeably more agile vehicle handling. And this agility is perfectly complemented by the standard progressive steering in the new Golf R. The intensity of the power distribution is determined by the current steering angle, accelerator pedal position, lateral acceleration, yaw rate and speed. The driver can also influence the way in which the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system with R-Performance Torque Vectoring and the stabilising vehicle dynamics systems work via the standard driving profile selection (COMFORT, Sport, Race and Individual). In conjunction with the optional R-Performance package, drivers can choose between the additional Special and Drift profiles. An R button in the newly developed multifunction steering wheel takes the Golf R driver straight to the driving profile selection. This enables the driver to adjust the adaptive chassis control DCC sports running gear, another standard feature in the Golf R. For the first time – and as a world first in the Golf R – the all-wheel drive system is closely integrated with the DCC, the electronic differential locks (XDS) and the progressive steering via a Vehicle Dynamics Manager.
The running gear in the Golf R.
Optimised front axle and steering. Lowered by 20 mm in comparison with the standard model, the sports running gear for the Golf R has also been retuned specifically for the vehicle. The focus was on achieving outstanding performance while still retaining the best possible ride characteristics. In the basic layout, the running gear consists of a McPherson front axle and a four-link rear suspension. Compared with its predecessor, the spring rates and stabiliser rates have both been increased by 10 percent. The DCC application was also adapted accordingly, with the running gear engineers modifying the system’s hydraulics and programming. The running gear team increased the negative camber (-1°20’) on the front axle to allow higher cornering speeds and also increased lateral guidance. This also resulted in a much more neutral vehicle response in overrun mode and during acceleration. A rigidity-optimised aluminium subframe helped to reduce the weight of the front axle by three kilograms. The transverse link mounts and hub carriers on the Golf R’s rear axle have also been modified. At the same time, the response of the progressive steering was made more direct when steering into bends. The yaw response is characterised here by a higher degree of linearity right up to high speeds – this can be perceived continuously the driver, and there is also more “road feedback” when cornering.
Vehicle Dynamics Manager. Volkswagen has introduced a new driving dynamics control system for the Golf 8: the Vehicle Dynamics Manager. In the Golf R, the intelligent system not only closely integrates the electronic differential locks (XDS) and lateral dynamics-related elements of the optionally controlled shock absorbers in the adaptive chassis control system (DCC), but also – for the first time – the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system with R-Performance Torque Vectoring. Electromechanically adjustable running gear systems once again significantly enhance the balance between maximum dynamics and the highest levels of comfort. How the Vehicle Dynamics Manager works: it coordinates the electromechanical functions of the all-wheel drive system, the electronic differential locks (XDS), and the lateral dynamics-related elements of the regulated shock absorbers (DCC) during every driving manoeuvre. In this process, adapting the individual wheel damping (200 times a second) guarantees particularly agile and accurate handling. The Vehicle Dynamics Manager also enables exact calculation of perfect clutch control for the selective wheel torque control function to further optimise the agility and stability of the Golf R. In parallel to this, targeted braking intervention on the vehicle side on the inside of a bend further reduces understeer in the transition and limit ranges. What is more, the Vehicle Dynamics Manager helps to reduce the roll tendency (via DCC). Furthermore, the vehicle responds faster to even the slightest movements of the steering wheel (via DCC and 4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring). Traction is improved by an increased locking torque in the selective wheel torque control, and vehicle handling is slightly more biased towards the rear. The control of the Vehicle Dynamics Manager also optimises yaw and load change damping at high speeds (via 4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring and DCC). Since the Vehicle Dynamics Manager now monitors the Golf R’s handling on every corner, it is able to specifically correct any understeer or oversteer. For example: If a driving manoeuvre causes the Golf R to understeer too heavily on a corner and results in the front end being pushed outwards – for instance during spontaneous acceleration ahead of the apex of the bend – the Vehicle Dynamics Manager closes the selective wheel torque control clutch on the wheel located on the outside of the bend. The result: a yaw moment is generated on the rear axle, which turns the Golf R neutrally into the bend and reduces the understeer.
Adaptive chassis control (DCC). Adaptive chassis control (DCC) continuously reacts to the road surface and driving situation while taking account of various elements including steering, braking and acceleration manoeuvres. In the Golf R, the lateral dynamic components of the DCC running gear are coordinated and thus further optimised by the Vehicle Dynamics Manager. By means of the set driving profile, the driver can influence the reduction in body motion as desired. The required damping is calculated for each wheel and adjusted at the four shock absorbers within fractions of a second. This ensures that DCC always provides the highest level of driving comfort and ideal driving dynamics in conjunction with the Vehicle Dynamics Manager.
4+2 driving profiles. The Golf R comes with COMFORT, Sport, Race and Indvidual profiles – as well as new profiles offered in conjunction with the optional R Performance package: Special and Drift. The Sport profile is the dynamic and ideal basic mode for the Golf R: the name says it all. The COMFORT profile is tailored more for a high level of comfort, while still offering a high degree of steering precision. In the Race profile implemented especially by Volkswagen R for the Golf R, the coasting function (freewheeling without drive power) is deactivated, the engine sound is increased via the exhaust flaps, and the DSG, DCC, progressive steering and the all-wheel drive system are adjusted to a sportier setup. As already mentioned, the Golf R is also optionally available with two new profiles Special and Drift. These are extensions of the Race profile.
Special profile. The Special profile has been specifically configured for the Nürburgring Nordschleife and adjusts a softer setup of the DCC running gear compared to Race mode, for example, to make sure the Golf R can maintain maximum contact with the road on the undulating Nordschleife. The adaptive chassis control DCC is configured here with a special vertical setup; a special tune optimised for lateral dynamics is also achieved via the Vehicle Dynamics Manager and selective wheel torque control so that the vehicle handles the corners of the Nürburgring perfectly. Furthermore, downshifts in automatic DSG mode – performed depending on the brake pressure – complement every deceleration ahead of corners with an exhilarating level of perfection. Depending on the lateral acceleration and the speed with which the accelerator is released (“Fast Off”), the current gear is also maintained. In manual DSG mode, the otherwise usual forced upshifts also no longer apply. For the turbocharged engine, this means that the load changes are adjusted in order to optimise steering response and lateral dynamics. In addition, the engine speed is increased to improve the performance when pulling away and the accelerator characteristic is adapted for optimum control.
Drift profile. In Drift profile, the parameters for the ESC control (change to ESC Sport) and the distribution of power via the all-wheel drive system enable the Golf R to drift on private tracks. To ensure that the profile is only selected on private roads, the infotainment system always displays a confirmation prompt before it is activated.
Individual profile settings. In the Indvidual profile, the driver can precisely adjust and save their own driving profile using a digital slider. In profiles below COMFORT, this results in maximum decoupling of the body for even greater comfort. In profiles above Race, the tuning becomes even more dynamic and very direct; minimum roll is then combined with maximum agility. Using the ESC button, the driver is also able to deactivate ESC separately while on the race track.
Individual ESC control. When the Golf R is started, ESC is always active as a full system. However, drivers of the most powerful Golf can adapt ESC in two stages. In ESC Sport mode, the ESC thresholds and ASR slip thresholds are increased to reduce the intensity of interventions. In ESC Off mode, experienced drivers can additionally deactivate ESC altogether for all driving situations. However, Front Assist and Swerve Assist reactivate the full ESC system in emergencies.
Progressive steering. Progressive steering is installed as standard in the Golf R. This system has also been enhanced – the running gear engineers set up the progressive steering ratio more directly while applying new software algorithms and a new software application. How progressive steering works: conventional steering systems operate on the basis of a fixed gear ratio. However, the progressive steering applies a progressive gear ratio. This significantly reduces the effort required to steer when manoeuvring and parking. On winding country roads and when turning off, the driver will notice a greater dynamic response thanks to the more direct setup. It also means that the driver does not have to change their hand position as frequently. In terms of technology, progressive steering is essentially differentiated from the basic steering system by variable steering rack and pinion gearing as well as a more powerful electric motor. In functional terms, this means the following: unlike in systems with a fixed steering ratio, which are always forced to compromise between driving dynamics and comfort, the teeth of the steering rack vary significantly over the range of the steering movement. As a result, the transition between a comfortable steering response in the centre range (driving straight ahead) and direct steering response for larger steering wheel turn angles has been set up progressively to enable a more agile steering response in driving dynamics situations.
18-inch brake system. To make sure this Golf can be braked confidently from its top speed of 270 km/h, the product line’s new flagship model has been equipped with a new front-axle brake system with 18-inch brake discs. Its predecessor came with a 17-inch brake system. The new 18-inch brakes increase the disc dimensions from 340 x 30 mm to 357 x 34 mm. The brakes are built with pin discs and a brake pot made of aluminium, which reduces the weight by 600 grams on each side. A speed-dependent map in the electromechanical brake servo ensures precise brake control. The brakes respond harmoniously when manoeuvring, for example, but bite instantaneously and powerfully at high speeds. Thanks to precise optimisation in the high brake pressure range, the new brakes still permit very exact control even just before ABS intervention. A larger brake master cylinder ensures crisp, precise response in combination with sporty and short brake pedal travel. The specific tuning of the brake pedal characteristic also supports this sportier and more direct brake pedal feeling subjectively in the driver’s perception. The new brake system is visually characterised by its blue brake calipers adorned with an R logo.