Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. — Throughout a product presentation for a trio of 2022 Volkswagens, a slide caught my eye.

Slide, which launched the corporate’s Golf GTI and Golf R sizzling hatch, mentioned: Gas the followers.

Having pushed each the vehicles, I feel they’re an correct description of what they carry to the Volkswagen lineup. With the German auto large’s vary now dominated by SUVs (5 and counting), the recent hatch’s look is the corporate’s means of throwing high-performance bones at long-running V-dub followers.

Simply to catch you up, the Golf GTI and Golf R stay the majority of the Golf lineup in North America. The eighth-generation Golf debuted in Europe in 2019, however when Volkswagen of America refused to import it out-of-state, the enterprise case for Volkswagen Canada to retain the automotive right here evaporated. No extra bizarre golf for us. However the truth that the GTI and Golf R made the reduce is a pleasant silver lining in an period when passenger vehicles are being pulled from producer lineups at an alarming fee.

At any fee, each vehicles journey on Volkswagen’s MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform and share fundamental physique styling, powertrain and chassis elements. There are a number of key variations that set them aside, after all, such because the Golf R’s all-wheel drive and extra sturdy engine output, however ultimately, the 2 usually are not the identical.

Golf GTI

For 2022, the two.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (EA888) engine within the GTI will get an influence bump of 241 hp/273 lb-ft, representing a bonus of 14 and 15, respectively, over the powerplant within the outgoing seventh-gen. sample. As earlier than, the GTI stays a entrance wheel-drive automotive, with a selection of two gearboxes, a six-speed handbook, or a seven-speed dual-clutch computerized (DSG).

Different enhancements, particularly these of the chassis tuning selection, are quite a few. Amongst these is a brand new car dynamics system, commonplace E-LSD (restricted slip differential), accessible Dynamic Chassis Management (DCC) adaptive damping that has been re-calibrated, inflexible entrance (5 %) and rear (15 %) spring charges. , a lighter (three kg) aluminum subframe, a bigger grasp cylinder for higher braking really feel, and revised aerodynamics for much less raise.

When it comes to aesthetics, the styling adjustments are iterative and in step with the GTI model hallmarks. These embody new LED lighting, purple grill line with optionally available gentle bar, honeycomb air consumption with LED lighting, 19-inch wheels with accessible summer time tyres, purple brake calipers, rear spoiler and twin chrome exhaust finisher. Seven exterior colours can be found, 5 of that are new to the GTI.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Within the cabin, the GTI receives a brand new “digital structure”, which implies a normal 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Professional instrument panel and an 8.25-inch infotainment touchscreen show. Heated entrance sport seats completed in conventional GTI “Scale Paper” plaid material are additionally commonplace concern, as is 30-color ambient lighting. Notable choices embody a 10-inch infotainment show with embedded navigation, heads-up show, Harman Kardon audio system and Vienna leather-based seating.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Canada is providing the GTI in three grades: GTI $31,495 / $32,895 (DSG), Autobahn $34,995 / $36,395 (DSG) and Efficiency $38,995 / $40,395 (DSG). Every grade comes effectively stocked with an extended listing of ordinary kits, however there are a number of choice packages accessible for gadgets like a sunroof, alloy wheels, and premium audio.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Notably, Volkswagen Canada is providing the Leather-based Delet bundle at no cost for the Efficiency Grade, which is not accessible within the US. The identical goes for the sunroof, which is optionally available ($1,250) on the Efficiency mannequin in Canada, however Normal on the prime is the GTI (Autobahn) within the US. In actual fact, the sunroof is optionally available for all GTI fashions in Canada. Volkswagen says these packaging selections are a direct results of buyer suggestions.

Golf R

Do you know that the 2022 mannequin is the fifth Golf R, however solely the third to have made it in Canada?

To be trustworthy, I did not even realize it, however sure certainly, the primary Golf R (2004) was a variant of the fourth era Golf and was bought in America and Europe, however not right here. It had 240 hp and was changed in 2008 with the 250 hp VR6 mannequin (the one Golf with a six-cylinder engine), which was once more bought within the US and Europe, however not in Canada.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Looks like a very long time in the past, as we at the moment are on our third Golf R and this mannequin is “elevating the bar” and “the final word expression of Golf and Volkswagen” that the corporate claimed within the product presentation.

And who am I to argue, as a result of 2022 is an actual blast.

For instance, the two.0-liter EA888 Turbo’s energy is bumped as much as 315 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque when paired with a DSG gearbox. Torque output for the handbook stays at 280 as a result of – and I did not know this earlier than – North America is the one market the place the Golf R could be had with a three-pedal setup.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Europe dropped the handbook when the earlier mannequin was facelifted, and it didn’t return for the following era. On condition that the handbook is not a world function, Volkswagen selected to not re-engineer the automotive round itself, so torque output stays the identical.

Just like the GTI, the Golf R receives a brand new car dynamics system, however DCC and torque vectoring are commonplace as are Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system. Two new drive modes, Drift and Particular, are additionally commonplace concern.

Chassis adjustments are quite a few and embody the next: elevated unfavorable camber (-1.2 levels), 10 % tighter anti-roll and spring fee, a lighter (minus three kg) aluminum subframe, aluminum entrance brake hub, and bigger (358 mm) ) Cross-drilled entrance brake rotors with two-piston calipers. Just like the GTI, the brand new Golf R additionally will get an even bigger grasp cylinder for higher braking really feel and higher aerodynamics for much less raise.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R 2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Aesthetically, the Golf R receives the identical styling updates because the GTI, however there are a number of distinctive particulars that set it aside, together with R-specific entrance and rear bumpers, signature blue detailing, a bi-level spoiler and a quad-tip. Chrome exhaust finisher. 19-inch wheels wrapped in summer time tires are additionally commonplace.

Inside, the cabin carries ahead the GTI’s aesthetic, however with extra baggage. For instance, a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen with embedded navigation is commonplace, as is an R-specific steering wheel, heated and ventilated entrance seats, heated rear seats, Nappa leather-based seating and Harman Kardon audio system.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R 2022 Volkswagen Golf R

When it comes to pricing, the Golf R is available in a means for Canada, with a barely bigger outlay for the DSG-equipped mannequin ($46,395 versus $44,995 for the handbook). The one manufacturing facility choice accessible is an influence sunroof ($1,250).


Volkswagen Canada gave us the higher a part of a day within the Niagara space to pattern these two new sizzling hatches, which proved to be a fairly cool approach to move the time.

These vehicles are nice. Barrels of enjoyable. Quick, grippy and on the rails. These hatches are a lot enjoyable, actually, that I want there was a monitor part to the drive. Nevertheless it wasn’t, so public roads are the place my impressions come from.

These vehicles look quick, and they’re. For my part, each are higher with a handbook gearbox, however the DSG and its pedals – at the least within the Golf R – work high quality. Throttle response from the EA888 is hair-triggered in each vehicles, with its added energy and all-wheel drive making the launch extra aggressive within the R.

The clutch-shifter relationship feels effectively suited to efficiency driving, with engagement that is each easy and dependable for fast upshifts and downshifts. On largely easy Niagara roads, the Golf R feels caught on the street with good steering suggestions and flat cornering. I used to be anticipating a loud exhaust, an actual bap-dap-dap kind really feel, particularly off-throttle, however it was muted general. If one is definitely standing on the accelerator in sport or race mode it will get loud however in any other case comparatively quiet.

The brand new torque vectoring system, which may ship engine torque to the rear wheels in dynamic driving situations (as much as one hundred pc in both wheel), to assist clear the understeer for higher rotation by means of corners, actually In-track analysis is required. I sampled an identical system at a 2022 Audi RS3 monitor in Greece in October, and it labored as marketed. I feel the identical can be true for the Golf R, and hope I lastly get an opportunity to verify that assumption.

I am talking largely concerning the R right here, however the GTI affords the identical really feel, albeit with barely much less energy.

Briefly, each vehicles ship on Volkswagen’s “Gas the Followers” promise, and I feel they’re going to attraction not solely amongst longtime model aficionados, however newbies as effectively. The interiors of each the vehicles are additionally engaging with supportive seating and a neat sprint panel/middle console format. I want there have been a number of extra mechanical buttons, however that is me. Touchscreens work high quality when you’re aware of them.

Honda and Subaru will introduce all-new Civic Sort R and WRX fashions subsequent yr, and they’ll face robust competitors from Volkswagen available in the market. The gauntlet is thrown down.

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI goes on sale throughout Canada in December. The Golf R will start arriving in early 2022.

The car was offered to the writer by the car producer. Supplies and automobiles weren’t topic to appraisal approval

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