Volkswagen has thrown the gauntlet to all-wheel-drive hatchbacks.

Launched just earlier this year, the 2023 Volkswagen Golf R 20 Years is the most powerful factory Golf yet. But apparently, the hot hatch is not just about power. The model has set the fastest Volkswagen R-branded production vehicle ever in the Nurburgring-Nordschleife circuit.

The Golf R 20 posted a 7:47.31 at Green Hell, easily beating the standard Golf R's record by around four seconds. Touring car race driver and Volkswagen R development driver Benjamin Leuchter drove the Golf R 20 and was doing north of 265 km/h in some areas of the circuit.

“With this car, I can drive here on the Nürburgring and the next stop is then the baker’s or the DIY store. The vehicle is really an all-rounder that can do everything” said Leuchter.

Built as a limited-edition anniversary model, the Golf R 20 produces 333 PS from its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine, and uses a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Volkswagen has done their lap, now it's time to see how the other all-wheel-drive hatchbacks would fare. We're looking at you, GR Corolla.