Hot hatches like the Mercedes-AMG A45 and the Honda Civic Type R are fun, but not exactly drift machines because these vehicles are either front-wheel drive (FWD) or sometimes even all-wheel-drive (AWD). As you know, most drift cars are rear-wheel-drive (RWD) but Volkswagen wants to change that with the new 2021 Golf R.
Yes, the German marque has made the new Mk8 Golf R capable of going sideways… apparently.
According to Volkswagen, it can do powerslides thanks to a new active rear differential together with new torque-vectoring technology, that means nearly all of the power under the hood can be sent to the rear wheels. Speaking of power, the new model packs 315 HP and 420 Nm torque from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. A 6-speed manual transmission is available along with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with all-wheel drive as standard.
When not going sideways, the all-wheel-drive system helps put the power down, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds. At the same time, the 4Motion system also juggles power between the front and rear wheels to eliminate understeer and help the car go around corners faster. To further improve handling, the Golf R features a variable steering rack and numerous suspension modifications including a lower ride height.
Design-wise, the Golf R looks just like the 5-door hatchback Golf Mk8 it is based on. The changes between the standard and the drift-capable R are quite subtle, just like the previous models. Some of the changes include a more aggressive front bumper with larger intakes in gloss black, quad exhaust at the rear, and 19-inch wheels that hide the larger brakes. There’s also a large roof spoiler to improve aerodynamics.
Inside, the cabin is similar to what you would find in a GTI albeit with R badges all around. The digital cluster has even been updated to have a special R-exclusive display. Front and center on the dash is a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system to complement the digital cluster. No loud trim pieces here though as it features a subtle blend of blue accents and carbon elements.
As much as we would want Volkswagen Philippines to bring in the new Golf R, the chances of that happening are slim to none unless they start making it in China.