New VW Golf R Will Have To Make Do Without Drift Mode, Four-Wheel Steering

In a few months, Volkswagen will launch the eighth generation of the Golf – and, unsurprisingly, enthusiasts have already started asking about the range-topping R. It so happens that TopGear has some answers after talking to Jost Capito, who heads VW’s R division.

Due to him having a long history with Ford before joining VW, Capito, who helped bring the Focus RS Mk2 (among other things) to life was asked about the Focus RS Mk3’s Drift Mode – and whether we should expect to see something similar in the all-new Golf R.

The answer was negative: “The Focus RS feels geared up for fun above everything”, he said. “Drift mode is a free piece of technology that comes from the drive systems they’re using. But it’s not for us.”

Also Read: Next-Gen VW Golf And Golf SportWagen Might Not Come To America

Okay, so the Drift Mode is a no-go, but what about four-wheel steering, like the latest Renault Megane RS? Nope, that’s not gonna happen either, as Capito thinks “it’s just not necessary on a car the size of the Golf”.

Electrification is another thing the next Golf R will do without. In a previous interview, the VW R boss confirmed that the output will be around 300 hp, as bringing it to 400 hp will make it too expensive, and the goal is to have it priced at under €50,000 (~$56,000) in Germany; plus, customers weren’t really asking, or willing to pay more, for the extra oomph.

The outgoing Golf R has a 296 hp (300 PS / 221 kW) 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine coupled to either a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch auto transmission. When paired with the stick shift, it hits 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in a little over 5 seconds, whereas with the DSG, it drops just under that mark.

In all likelihood, the Mk8 Golf R will be a tad more powerful, but other improvements should make it faster and, coupled with the all-new chassis, even more agile.


  • performante

    That’s fine. It’s just a gimmick anyway. Keep the Golf R the “gentlemen’s hot hatch”.

  • Six_Tymes

    The R needs to have 400 hp, Especially because of the money they ask for these cars already

  • Toss

    VW knows that can not compet with A45AMG at all chapeters, so they made Golf R under 400hp and under AMG’s 45 price so they can use the cheaper car argument in all road tests.

  • ThatGuy

    The M1 and 45AMG are make VW sweat, I can see them trying to go all in to fend off their rivals.
    Having said that the normal FWD GTi is an epic daily. It might not be to everyone’s taste that wants to whip the pants off others on the road(and that’s a few people), but smile on your face and good drivers car it ticks all the boxes and more. The 1 Series and A Class feel like fast numb machines in my personal opinion.

    • OdysseyTag


      • ThatGuy

        1 Series M car, oh sorry for clarity in our market the M1 exists in a hatch basically a M140i and called an m1 with extra kit. My apologies forget i need to have my global cap on.

    • Vassilis

      The A45’s competitor is the RS3. VW won’t make a Golf as fast as that.

      • ThatGuy

        True Vassilis, but they deem their Club Sport and so forth a competitor and sell it accordingly in markets, and why i dislike this is that we know it is not but a non car person does not. And at the Price points we see VW is slower and cheaper hence the compromise

        • Vassilis

          I think anyone looking at the specs of those two cars would understand they aren’t competitors. One is a 300 hp FWD hatch, the other is a 400 hp 4WD one. Maybe in some markets they cost similar amounts of money, I can’t be sure, but in some others they really don’t.

          • ThatGuy

            Yeah i get what you mean, im unsure of markets where they cost about the same, on my side the VW is cheaper by some change not too much. In terms of no car people, i knew a guy i worked with that bought a C200K with the AMG kit and he said it was cheaper and looked faster than a GTi, did not look at spec and power, nothing just all the nice things i feel he heard for the sale person and the looks of what he seen.
            But for you and myself and even an average car person we look. But most others dont care.

          • Vassilis

            I’d like to think most people that are on the market for a hot hatch know a few things about cars…

          • ThatGuy

            Me too until Martin made me rethink and messed my soul to the core, but no sweat each to their own.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    All unnecessary luxuries for a minivan.

  • Toss

    A35AMG allready lost some fights against GTI Performance…that’s painful

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