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The VW Golf R 20 Years is the fastest ever R model around the ‘Ring

Volkswagen Golf R ‘20 Years’ has taken an entire four seconds off the car’s previous best

Published: 23 Aug 2022

No it’s not a reference to how long it’ll take you to make peace with the rubbish infotainment, the VW Golf R 20 Years is in fact a celebration of the car’s two decades of existence.

And to mark the milestone VW has eked out a bit more performance from its 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo, allowing it to shave four whole seconds off its Nurburgring lap time and thus be crowned the fastest R model ever.

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The time? 7m 47.31s, which is mighty quick and made possible by the 20 Years edition having VW’s Performance Pack included as standard.

Okay so an extra 13bhp (bringing the total up to 329bhp) doesn’t look like a massive leap, but it is after all the most powerful production Golf in history. And with 0-62mph occurring in 4.6 seconds, you’ll quickly forget about the semantics.

As well as the extra power, Volkswagen credits its Vehicle Dynamics Manager and R-Performance Torque Vectoring systems for the R’s new benchmark time.

Touring car and VW development driver Benjamin Leuchter also had ‘Special’ mode engaged, setting the car up with softened shocks and adapted steering wheel and drive settings for maximum ‘Ring crushing ability.

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“With this car, I can drive here on the Nürburgring and the next stop is then the baker’s or the DIY store,” said Leuchter. No we’re not sure what he’s on about either. Impressive lap though.

The Golf R 20 Years follows on from the original Golf R32 of 2002, which had a 3.2-litre 6cyl engine with 237bhp, good for 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds. Come a long way since then haven’t we?

In that time we’ve also seen an R32 version of the Mk5 Golf, R versions of Golfs six and seven, and of course the incumbent Golf R. What do you reckon we’ll be seeing in another 20 years’ time?

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