Currently reading: New Volkswagen Golf R 20 Years is most powerful production Golf
Volkswagen celebrates 20th anniversary of its performance division with its hottest hatchback yet

The new Volkswagen Golf R 20 Years is the most powerful version of the Golf ever put into production.

As the name suggests, it has been built to celebrate 20 years of Volkswagen's R performance division, which first turned its hand to the fourth-generation Volkswagen Golf to create the 3.2-litre V6-engined, four-wheel-drive Golf R32 hot hatch. 

That car packed 237bhp and 236lb ft of torque, but the new special edition ups the ante substantially with modifications that put it on a par, power-wise, with the most potent hot hatches on sale today. 

With the venerable EA888 turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine tuned to produce 328bhp, the 20 Years edition is 22bhp more powerful than the current Golf R and as such is all but certain to subtly improve upon its 4.7sec 0-62mph time and 168mph maximum speed. 

Volkswagen has even gone so far as to integrate a raft of new design and technical features, including a new Emotional Start function that revs the engine up to 2500rpm on start-up, which it says "heightens the anticipation of a typical R driving experience".

And when driving in S or S+ mode, the dual-clutch automatic gearbox (DSG) has been tweaked to give "noticeable" feedback when shifting up, while the turbocharger has been reconfigured to run at a constant speed under partial throttle, which then makes for quicker acceleration on kickdown. 

The Golf R 20 Years also marked out by bespoke design details that make it "already a collectors' item as a new car", according to Volkswagen. 

The dashboard door panels are finished in carbonfibre – a first for Volkswagen – while there's extra R badging throughout and a larger, bespoke rear spoiler. 

A Volkswagen spokesman confirmed to Autocar that the special edition will come to the UK, with full performance and pricing data to come nearer its arrival.

Expect a price tag nudging £50,000, compared with £42,190 for the standard Golf R.

The Golf R 20 Years will be built as a limited-edition model until the middle of 2023, but Volkswagen has yet to confirm production numbers.


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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Peter Cavellini 24 May 2022

 Here a discussion, if VW ditched the GTi, what should they replace it with?, afterall, in a few years it'll have to go EV, a Golf Ev.Gti?

soldi 24 May 2022
How much does it weigh?
gagaga 24 May 2022

So a noisier startup (hey neighbours) and intentionally janky gearshifts?

And they charge you 8 grand for that?