​​2022 Golf GTI vs. Golf R: What You Need to Know

August 16th, 2021 by

vw golf gti

Breaking Down These Two Speedy Compacts

Recently at the Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen debuted a couple exciting new additions to the VW family. They are the 2022 Mk8 Golf GTI and the 2022 Mk8 Golf R, which are primed to be two hot-sellers when they’re widely released here in the U.S. later in the year. Obviously, the Volkswagen Golf has been a long-standing crowd favorite among VW fans for several years throughout multiple iterations. There’s not a day that goes by at our dealership here at VW Clearlake where someone isn’t inquiring about a VW Golf for sale. It’s fun, it’s speedy, and it has single-handedly made hatchbacks cool again.

Per Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, “The previous Golf GTI and Golf R models were widely regarded as the best hot hatches you could buy, but the Mark 8 versions up the ante. Now built in Wolfsburg, the cars have more performance, better handling, more standard equipment and improved tech features, yet minimal price increases.”

So, what are we to expect now that there will be two more Golfs coming down the pipeline with the new Mk8 versions? We’ll break this down for you.

Equal Footing – What is the Same Between the 2022 Golf GTI and Golf R?

Before we delve into what’s different between these two vehicles, let’s talk about what’s the same. The new Mk8 versions are slightly sportier while still carrying those classic hallmarks Golf fans know and love, such as the distinctive C-pillar. Drivers will notice the Mk8 Golf iterations have a new face via the raked hood, new signature LED headlights, and grille lightbar on either side of the updated VW logo.

Both the Golf GTI and the Golf R run on a 2.0L turbocharged direct-injection TSI engine that can be paired with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG dual clutch automatic transmission. This makes them two of the most powerful versions of the Golf ever released to date.

Additionally, the wheelbases on the GTI and the R have remained unchanged from the previous Mk7 generation, both sitting at 103.6 inches. As far as exterior dimensions are concerned, the VW GTI and the R are nearly identical. The Golf GTI is 168.8 inches long and 57.6 inches in height. Comparatively, the Golf R is 168.9 inches long and 57.7 inches in height. Both cars are the same exact width at 70.4 inches. On the interior of both Mk8 versions, there is 91.9 cubic ft. of space for passengers, 19.9 cubic ft. of cargo space (34.5 cubic ft. with the seats folded down).

Both the Golf GTI and Golf R feature new electronic architecture that will enable drivers to digitally network their displays and controls for a more comprehensive experience. The Mk8 versions of the Golf include a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro with a gorgeous full-color display. Drivers will be able to see their car’s status, driving data, phone information, album art, driver assistance features, and more. Drivers that have the Discover Pro infotainment system with navigation option will be able to display a full-screen map in the digital cluster on the center display. Features such as lighting, defrost, HVAC, and audio functions are all conveniently controlled in the digital cockpit.

Finally, both the GTI and R models can be upgraded to include the IQ.DRIVE suite of driver assistance features for hands-on semi-automated capability. The system utilizes front and rear radar, a front camera and several ultrasound sensors to collect data from the surrounding area, enabling a full complement of driver assist features: Travel Assist (semi-automated driving assistance); Front Assist (Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Cyclist Monitoring); Active Blind Spot Monitor; Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Assist (Lane Keeping System); and Emergency Assist (semi-automated vehicle assistance in a medical emergency, DSG only). High Beam Control (Light Assist), the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), Park Assist with Park Distance Control, and Dynamic Road Sign Display are also available.

The 2022 Golf GTI and Golf R Price and Performance Differences

Now that you know how the Golf GTI and the Golf R are the same, let’s break down some of the core differences between these two exciting automobiles.

Golf GTI starting MSRP: $29,545; available in S, SE, and Autobahn trim levels
Golf GTI horsepower: 241
Golf GTI torque: 273 Lb-ft.

The 2022 Golf GTI comes standard with the electronically controlled torque-sensing limited-slip VAQ differential. The system offers a variable degree of intervention depending on the actual driving situation and ESC, EDS and XDS+ functions. This allows drivers to avoid steering corruption, as is the case with purely mechanical differentials. The VAQ differential optimizes grip and handling in fast corners, thus enhancing the performance and helping to decrease understeer, a traditional weakness of front-drive cars.

Golf R starting MSRP: $43,645; available in one fully-loaded trim level
Golf R horsepower: 315
Golf R torque: 280 Lb-ft.

The Golf R features a newly designed 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with rear-axle torque vectoring. This serves as the foundation for the updated handling abilities of the Golf R, delivering a new level of performance. The new torque vectoring system in the 2022 Golf R uses a rear differential with two multi-plate clutches that can distribute up to 100% of the rear torque to an individual rear wheel. This system is designed to apportion power between the wheels based on speed, power application, yaw, and other factors. In a typical corner, the system can direct more power to the wheel on the outside of the curve in a matter of milliseconds, reducing the cornering radius.

How to Get the Brand-New 2022 VW Golf

Both Mk8 Golfs won’t be available until later in the year around Q4, so customers will have to wait a little bit in order to test drive them. However, if you simply can’t wait to check out a Golf, we do have the 2021 Volkswagen Golf for sale. To find your nearest dealership, you can either search “VW dealership near me” or head to VW Clear Lake, which is conveniently located at 15100 Gulf Fwy. in Houston. We have used cars for sale and new cars for sale. We also have a VW service center for those of you that need routine maintenance or repairs done.

Check out our monthly specials, chat with us, or use our Contact Us form to schedule an appointment today.

Posted in Volkswagen