20 years of the Golf R: Volkswagen R celebrates milestone with exclusive special-edition model.

  • 20 years of the Golf R. The Golf R has been part of the Volkswagen model range since 2002. The brand is celebrating this milestone with an exclusive special-edition model. The Golf R “20 Years”will join the model range from June and impresses with its exclusive equipment.
  • Outstanding success story. The original version of the sports car made its debut in 2002 as the Golf R323 with 241 PS and all-wheel drive. The new Golf R “20 Years” 1 is already the sixth edition of this sports car.
  • More power, more dynamics, more emotions. With an output of 333 PS1, the exclusive model delivers 13 PS more than the current Golf R, making it the most powerful production Golf of all time.
  • Premium performance models from Volkswagen. The Volkswagen R models with increased power have their roots in the race track and stand for the transfer of innovative technologies to series production.
  • Exclusive performance features and more distinctive acoustics. As soon as the engine is started, the model thrills you with higher engine speeds together with an acoustic statement that underlines the power of the Golf R “20 Years”1. Emotive gear changes with noticeable feedback add to the typical R driving experience.
  • New feature in the vehicle interior. The Golf R “20 Years”1 will be the first production Volkswagen to come with high-quality decorative trim in Genuine Carbon.
  • R-Performance equipment as standard. The equipment that was previously only available in the optional R-Performance package is on board the Golf R “20 Years”1 as standard. This includes the large rear spoiler and the Special and Drift driving profiles.
  • World premiere on 24 May 2022.Available for a limited period. As from the market launch, Volkswagen will offer the Golf R “20 Years”1 to R enthusiasts for a limited period up to the middle of 2023.


The highlights of the Golf R “20 Years”1

Wolfsburg, 24 May 2022. In summer 2002, Volkswagen launched one of the sportiest compact models in the world, the first Golf R323. With its 3.2-litre VR6 engine generating 177 kW (241 PS)3, it was the most powerful Golf that Volkswagen had built up to that point. Featuring all-wheel drive in combination with exclusive design and equipment, this highly dynamic car was the technological benchmark in its class – the Golf class. The Golf R323 was an immediate success, and its sales were triple the originally planned amount. Since then, the fastest letter in the Volkswagen alphabet has excited a global fan community with the brand’s sportiest and most emotive models. More than 260,000 R models have been sold worldwide up to the present day. Volkswagen R is now celebrating the 20th birthday of the Golf R with an anniversary model, the Golf R “20 Years”1.

More powerful, more dynamic, more emotive. The Golf R is traditionally the most powerful model of Volkswagen’s most successful product line of all times. With its 235 kW (320 PS)2 turbocharged engine (TSI), the output of the Golf R2 already sets the vehicle apart from the classic eighth-generation Golf. However, the Golf R “20 Years”1 surpasses with its drive technology everything that has been launched with the Golf label up to now. Thanks to its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine with an output of 245 kW (333 PS), it delivers 13 PS more than the current Golf R– and is thus the most powerful Golf of all time.

Exclusive performance features. The power of the Golf R “20 Years”1 is placed centre stage as soon as the engine is started. The driver can select an Emotion Start to activate an initial engine speed overshoot extending up to 2,500 rpm. In combination with especially striking drive acoustics, this additionally heightens the anticipation of a typical R driving experience. When the driver shifts up manually in S and S+ gear selector positions, the DSG provides noticeable feedback from the gearbox and drive train each time the right paddle is operated. In addition, the optimised engine tuning means that the load change response is extremely spontaneous. The turbocharger is preloaded to keep it at a constant speed during part-load driving. This then allows faster power development for subsequent acceleration. The open throttle valve in overrun phases also improves dynamics and performance on the road. When the driver takes their foot off the accelerator and then accelerates again, this allows faster build-up of the engine torque and noticeably improves the engine’s responsiveness. This allows the Golf R “20 Years”1 to be driven even more dynamically and with a higher level of driving stability in sporty driving situations.

The performance features mean that the special-edition model is already a collectors’ item as a new car. It has its world premiere on 24 May. As from the market launch, Volkswagen will offer the Golf R “20 Years”1 as a special-edition model for a limited period up to the middle of 2023.

R-Performance equipment as standard. The Golf R “20 Years”1 will be available as standard with the R Performance package already familiar from the Golf 8 R (including, for example, R-Performance Torque Vectoring in conjunction with the Vehicle Dynamics Manager and two additional driving modes, Special and Drift). It also upgrades the new special-edition model with exclusive design highlights. At the rear, the roof spoiler emphasises the vehicle’s motorsport-inspired look. The Golf R “20 Years”1 leaves the factory on 19-inch alloy wheels in Estoril design as standard.

First Volkswagen with Genuine Carbon in the interior. The dash panel and door trims are equipped with decorative trim elements in Genuine Carbon as standard – a first for any Volkswagen. The Golf R “20 Years”1 is the first Volkswagen with these high-quality design elements. In the vehicle interior, visual highlights are created by blue R logos, including on the multifunction sport steering wheel (at 6 o’clock position). The blue R logo can also be found on the vehicle key cap to underline the fact that the key belongs to a special vehicle.

Production in Wolfsburg. Like all Golf models, the Golf R “20 Years”1 will be produced in the Wolfsburg factory, the home of the Golf. The Golf R “20 Years”1 will reach dealerships from the middle of 2022. The Golf R “20 Years”1 will be offered in various European markets as well as in a number of international markets and North America.

Key aspects

​The Golf R “20 Years”
1: more power, more emotion.

Puts motorsport onto the road. The Golf R “20 Years”1 embodies the brand roots in motorsport and comes with all the hallmark features of a model from the R brand. The special-edition model delivers 10 kW (13 PS) more compared with the regular Golf 8 R. This results in an engine output of 245 kW (333 PS)and offers a further increase in performance. The Golf R “20 Years” also features an optional Emotion Start function. Here, the engine speed is increased briefly when the engine is started (up to 2,500 rpm) so that the sound of the 2.0 TSI engine is brought to the fore. Thanks to the optimised engine tuning, drivers can drive the special-edition model even more dynamically and with a higher level of driving stability.

Special and Drift driving profiles as standard. The Special driving profile was designed on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife specifically for driving on demanding race tracks. All the main drive parameters are adapted correspondingly in this profile – including the 4MOTION all-wheel drive. The result is higher cornering speeds – with excellent traction and stability. The Drift driving profile configured for use on closed roads allows maximum enjoyment of the performance drive of the Golf R “20 Years”1. In combination with the specific ESC control function (automatic switching to ESC Sport mode) and power distribution via the all-wheel drive system (Drift setting in the 4MOTION drive system with R-Performance Torque Vectoring), this permits precisely controlled drift manoeuvres through targeted oversteering.


The exterior: striking and expressive.

Unmistakable R design. The blue R logo immediately catches the eye on the black radiator grille of the Golf R “20 Years”1. Since its introduction, this logo has stood for especially powerful and exclusively designed cars at Volkswagen. The blueR logo can also be found on both wings and on the boot lid.

An expressive way to drive. The Golf R “20 Years”comes as standard with 19-inch Estoril alloy wheels. The spokes are diamond-cut, whereby the outer surfaces in the new Black/Blue colour variant create a sporty and elegant contrast and provide the vehicle design with even more clarity. The wheel rims can also be optionally ordered completely in Black. The exterior mirror caps are blue (except when the exterior colour is Lapiz Blue, they are black). When the vehicle is unlocked, the driver and front passenger are greeted as standard with the “20 R” logo projected onto the ground. The design elements created exclusively for the special-edition model also include a “20” badge on the B-pillar.

An athletic rear end. The special-edition model is equipped with a roof spoiler that underlines the motorsport look. This roof spoiler projects well beyond the roof edge. In combination with the black surround extending towards the rear window, this gives the Golf R “20 Years”an even flatter look and emphasises the vehicle’s dynamics. The blue R logo on the boot lid and the tinted windows at the rear sides and rear round off the sporty appearance of the flagship model.


The interior: Genuine Carbon and blue R details.

Exclusive design elements. With the blue “R” logo on the cap, the vehicle key already indicates that this is a special vehicle. And the “20 Years” logo projection specific to the special-edition model welcomes drivers before they get in. Inside the vehicle, decorative trim elements in Genuine Carbon in the door side trims and on the dash panel underline the very special ambience. The Golf R “20 Years”1 is the first Volkswagen worldwide with these high-quality design elements.

Premium sport seats. The new Golf R “20 Years”is equipped with premium sport seats at the front. The seats are upholstered with Nappa leather and feature active climate control. The blue R logo is embroidered into the upper part of the backrest. Striking: the blue used in the interior matches the Lapiz Blue metallic paintwork typical for Volkswagen R models.

Emotive gearshifts. Ergonomically shaped DSG paddles are located on the rear of the sports steering wheel. When driving, the new gearshift system responds with noticeable feedback in the form of a sporty shifting jolt to manual upshifts. This perceptible feedback from the gearbox and drive train is active for manual upshifts in the S & S+ gear selector positions. With the high-quality multifunction sports steering wheel including larger gear paddles, the driver has everything under control. ​


Volkswagen R – premium performance models from Volkswagen

Volkswagen R has motorsport in its DNA. As a four-time World Rally Champion, and with two titles in the World Rallycross Championship as well as the overall record in the area of electric mobility with the future-oriented technology carrier ID.R, Volkswagen R makes it possible to both feel and experience freedom and performance. While the “R” initially stood for “Racing” when first introduced, it has since established itself as Volkswagen’s premium performance brand. The Volkswagen R models with increased power have their roots in the race track and stand for the transfer of innovative technologies to series production. The expressive design and future-oriented mobility of these premium performance models from Volkswagen excite fan communities all over the world. ​ With individual colours and exclusive, high-quality exterior and interior design, the R-Line also transports the sporty look of the premium performance brand to other Volkswagen models as an equipment line.


20 years of the Golf R – an impressive retrospective

Golf R32 / 2002. It was an automotive sensation at its premiere – the first Golf R323 was presented in 2002. With its 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine generating 177 kW (241 PS), it was the most powerful Golf that Volkswagen had built up to that point. Its VR6 engine produced a maximum torque of 320 newton-metres. Equipped with this power plant, the Golf R323 accelerated to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds. The sports car reached its maximum speed at 247 km/h. The R32 was the first Golf in which the DSG dual clutch gearbox was optionally available for especially fast and convenient gear changing. Today, the Volkswagen model range would be inconceivable without the DSG. Sales of the first Golf R32 were triple what was originally planned. Around 12,000 units were built in the period from 2002 to 2004.

Golf 5 R32 / 2005. The second Golf R323 made its debut in 2005. The 6-cylinder engine with an output of 184 kW (250 PS) was more powerful than its predecessor and now exuded even more confidence. In combination with the standard 6-speed manual gearbox (or optional DSG dual clutch gearbox), the second Golf R32 impressed with 320 newton-metres, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h. Around 29,000 units of the second-generation Golf R323 were built from 2005 to 2009.

Golf 6 R / 2009. Four years went by until the 2009 International Motor Show in Frankfurt: at this event, Volkswagen celebrated the world premiere of the successor on the basis of the sixth Golf generation, changing from a VR6 naturally-aspirated engine to a more economical 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine (TSI). “R32” now became “R” and the power again increased significantly with this third generation. The 2.0 l TSI engine delivered 199 kW (270 PS)3 with a torque of 350 newton-metres. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h took just 5.5 seconds. What is more, while the Golf R32 predecessor still had a fuel consumption of 10.7 litres per 100 kilometres, the third edition of the Golf R3 now consumed only 8.5 litres – a reduction of 2.2 litres or 21 percent. The CO2 emissions were likewise lowered from 255 to 199 g/km. The Golf R DSG with automatic gearbox even made do with 8.4 litres (195 g/km CO2) when refuelled after 100 kilometres. Around 32,000 units were built in the period from 2009 to 2013.

Golf 7 R / 2013. The location chosen for the premiere was once again Frankfurt.In September 2013, the fourth Golf R3 generation on the basis of the Golf 7 was presented at the International Motor Show. Powered by a newly designed turbocharged direct petrol injection engine (TSI), the fourth Golf R broke the magical 300 PS (221 kW) barrier for the first time. The four-cylinder engine thus delivered 30 PS more than its predecessor but was up to 18 percent more economical. The Golf R with manual gearbox reached a speed of 100 km/h after just 5.1 seconds (predecessor: 5.7 seconds); with the automatic dual clutch gearbox (DSG), the sports car even completed the sprint in 4.9 seconds. The maximum torque increased by 30 Nm to 380 Nm. Like all the preceding three generations of the Golf R, the new model also transferred its power to the road via a permanent all-wheel drive system – in this case using the latest version of the 4MOTION system. Around 127,000 units of the fourth-generation Golf R were built from 2013 to 2020.

Golf 8 R / 2020. The Golf R2 based on the Golf 8 celebrated its world premiere in November 2020 and surpassed the power of all previous Golf R models with an output of 235 kW (320 PS) and a torque of 420 newton-metres. The fifth edition of the sports car was also the first Volkswagen to be equipped with the latest all-wheel drive system: 4MOTION with R Performance Torque Vectoring. This intelligently networked system enables a new dimension of driving dynamics. 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 (270 km/h optionally possible). The fifth generation of the Golf R2 has been rolling off the assembly line in Wolfsburg since 2020.


Door patrick

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