New Volkswagen Golf R unleashed with drift mode

Volkswagen, Golf

Torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system to bring VW’s hot hatch up to speed with other Euros The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R has hit the slopes, debuting a new drift mode function that aligns the venerable hot hatch with the likes of the Ford Focus RS and Mercedes-AMG A 45 S.

US media sampled the fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf R in snowed-over Michigan this week, making use of a new twin-clutch 4MOTION system which usurps the predecessor Golf R’s Haldex clutch pack. The drift-ready system more or less mirrors that used on the now-defunct Ford Focus RS, with each rear half shaft connected to the driveshaft with a dedicated clutch pack. It means the Golf R’s dynamics computer can individually shuffle torque between the right and left rear wheels – not just the front and rear axles.

In drift mode, the Golf R apportions all of its rear drive to the outside rear wheel to help the car rotate. Stomp the throttle, and voila, you have drifty goodness! Or so it seems.

“The Golf R drifts, but it’s not as simple as cranking the wheel and matting the accelerator,” reports US outlet Car and Driver. “Even on slick surfaces, you’ll have to be deliberate in your inputs and know what you’re doing to slide the Golf R sideways in a fit of opposite-lock glory.

“You search out the tyres’ cornering limits first and then punch the throttle. Or you initiate the drift with a small Scandinavian flick. If you just stand on the accelerator without enough yaw, you’re just as likely to plough snow in a fistful of understeer.

The engine drives all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s not yet known whether the matching six-speed manual will be offered in Australia, but prospects aren’t promising.

The new R-rated model accelerates from 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds, which in the hot hatch arena is seriously rapid, but despite the impressive hike in power it’s only one tenth of a second quicker than the current model’s 4.8sec sprint.

The Golf R hatch and Golf R wagon are currently priced at Ksh 5,599,000 and Ksh 5,799,000 plus on-road costs respectively, but the new model is almost certain to bring a modest price rise.

Reviewed by Admin
on Thu 18th Mar 2021