2023 VW Golf R


2023 Golf R: Volkswagen’s performance halo


  • 20th Anniversary Edition joins the lineup to mark a global milestone
  • 315 horsepower and up to 295 pound-feet of torque delivered by EA888 TSI® engine, paired with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG® transmission
  • Standard features include: advanced DCC®, 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro, touch interfaces, 30-color ambient lighting, and IQ.DRIVE® driver assistance technology (DSG only)
  • Golf R available in one fully-loaded trim, with starting MSRP of $44,740

Herndon, VA — The Mk8 Golf R continues to evolve a legacy of understated performance first pioneered for the 2004 model year, with the introduction of the rally-inspired Golf R32. Two decades later, the fifth iteration of Volkswagen’s performance halo ups the ante with new race-inspired content and premium features.

New for 2023
The Golf R is available in two trims for the 2023 model year—the fully-equipped Golf R from the prior model year, along with a limited-production Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition. After receiving a full redesign for MY22, the Mk8 Golf R adds minor cosmetic changes. More details on the 20th Anniversary Edition will come at a later date.

MSRP for the 2023 Golf R starts at $44,740 for the six-speed manual transmission and $45,540 for the seven-speed DSG automatic. Destination is $1,095.

The subtle but purposeful design language of the Mk8 Golf R communicates its standing as a top-tier performance car while avoiding flamboyant styling that does not offer engineering benefit. Despite its performance capabilities, Golf R is suited to being a daily driver, as comfortable in the school carpool lane as it is on the racetrack.

The Mk8 Golf R is again based on the successful MQB modular transverse architecture, in this case allowing for even sportier proportions. While the wheelbase remains unchanged from the previous generation, at 103.5 inches, the car is now longer, at 168.9 inches. At 57.7 inches high and 70.4 inches wide, the new Golf R boasts a very low visual center of gravity, which was achieved through the wide air intakes at the front and a striking shoulder line.

More than any other Volkswagen model, the Mk8 Golf R shows off the performance capabilities of the MQB modular transverse architecture. The aerodynamicists and designers at Volkswagen worked together to shape the Golf R in the wind tunnel, where each new body panel was designed for unrestricted airflow. From its aero-optimized exterior mirrors and refined wheelarch linings down to its extensive underbody paneling, and quite literally from bumper to bumper, the Golf R displays an optimal combination of confident yet mature performance car presence.

Subtle design elements separate the new Golf R from its sporty Golf GTI sibling. Situated above the Volkswagen logo, an accent line in characteristic “R” blue stretches across the grille, continuing through each headlamp and eventually merging with the fenders on the side of the vehicle. An illuminated crossbar underneath gives the Golf R an unmistakable light signature.

An R-specific front bumper features twin intakes framed in gloss black. These seamlessly integrate into a large central opening, bringing a uniquely aggressive look but also serving to improve airflow and increase downforce. Intensive wind tunnel development has returned impressive results, with reduced lift front and rear and a drag coefficient of 0.33. Sharp cut body-colored side sill extensions bring the vehicle’s visual mass nearer the ground. The Golf R is fitted with 19-inch black machined aluminum-alloy wheels as standard, fitted with 235/35 summer performance tires.

At the rear, the “R” lettering is positioned under the Volkswagen logo. Rounding out the tastefully distributed nods to Golf R’s performance potential, a slightly extended two-piece rear spoiler is prominent and provides extra downforce on the rear axle. A rear diffuser in black neatly frames a quad-tipped exhaust system.

The Mk8 Golf R shows that light is the new chrome with new LED designs both in front and in the rear. At the front, LED projector headlights with Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), Active Cornering Lights, and poor weather lights pair with the illuminated grille. On the side, matte aluminum-look side mirrors with memory settings and passenger-side tilt-down in reverse gear project the “R” logo on the ground when the doors are unlocked, and the door handles feature illuminated recesses. An LED taillight cluster finishes the look at the back.

The 2023 Golf R is available in three colors: Lapiz Blue Metallic, Deep Black Pearl, and Pure White.

As much as the exterior of the Mk8 Golf R clearly announces its sporting intentions, its interior deftly balances enthusiast-focused features with state-of-the-art technology, while remaining comfortable and practical. There is an expansive 91.1 cu-ft of interior room and 19.9 cu-ft of luggage space—space that rivals midsize sedans. The versatility of the load space is enhanced by a trunk floor that can be raised or lowered, while the 60:40 split backrest can be folded to give an almost flat cargo area of 34.5 cu-ft, enough to accommodate grocery runs, travel bags and suitcases, or even a full-size bicycle.

Sport seats with integrated head restraints and supportive bolsters feature perforated Nappa leather seating surfaces and feature the characteristic blue “R” stitched into the backrest. The driver’s seat offers 12-way power adjustment as well as three memory presets, while the passenger seat has a powered backrest. The seat side panels and stitching are highlighted with a matching blue—a look that continues to the rear seats, where the sides of each headrest share the same blue. Both front seats are heated and ventilated (limited availability), and the rear outboard seats are heated.

The seat position, height of the shifter and the spacing between the pedals are fine-tuned for increased driver comfort. This driver-centric design focus is evident from the center stack, which is angled slightly towards the driver—a trait frequently seen in premium luxury and performance vehicles. The premium performance personality of Golf R is further accentuated with black headliner and carbon-look trim, buttons and haptic keys that are backlit in white, and the use of premium materials and soft-touch plastics throughout.

The driver controls are positioned to help optimize ergonomics and usability—defying convention where needed to streamline the look and feel of the cabin. For instance, the driving lights and defrost functions are now operated using a “Light and Sight” shared digital panel to the left of the steering wheel. Touch sliders are used below the infotainment display to adjust the standard Climatronic® automatic climate control and to change audio volume.

An R-specific multifunction sport steering wheel is wrapped in leather with perforated inserts and an ergonomic “D” shape, further signaling the car’s performance intentions. The heated steering wheel features controls for the Digital Cockpit Pro and has touchpads for volume adjustment and audio selections. On the left side of the steering wheel, a Travel Assist button engages the standard partially-automated hands-on driver assistance features and capacitive sensors monitor to make sure the driver has their hands on the wheel. Further to the left, a blue “R” button can be used to quickly put the Golf R into “Race” mode and to shortcut to the Driving Mode Selection screen in the infotainment display. DSG-equipped Golf R models also feature R-specific paddle shifters.

Ambient lighting comes standard on the Mk8 Golf R and washes the interior with color. Thirty colors are selectable and illuminate the decorative trim in the dash and doors, storage compartments in the doors and center console and the footwells. The digital instruments and infotainment system also take on the selected background color. Along with the individual colors, pre-configured “mood” lighting profiles can be selected.

The Golf R is loaded with comfort and convenience features. Volkswagen’s KESSY® keyless access with push-button start is standard, as are Nappa leather sport seats; a 12-way power driver’s seat with three-position memory; heated and ventilated front seats; heated outboard rear seats; three-zone Climatronic Touch automatic climate control with controls for rear passengers; automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers; automatic headlights; an auto-dimming rearview mirror; LED reading lights; Volkswagen Car-Net® with Wi-Fi capability when you subscribe to a data plan; and a head-up display, which is digitally projected onto the windshield, virtually floating in front of the driver.

A panoramic power tilt-and-slide sunroof is standard, operated by a touch slider at the front of the headliner. To satisfy the audiophile ear, the Golf R features a harman/kardon audio system with 480 watts, nine speakers and a 12-channel amplifer and subwoofer (limited availability).

Volkswagen Digital Cockpit Pro. The advanced Volkswagen Digital Cockpit Pro system, standard on Golf R models, presents drivers with a fully configurable 10.25-inch display with three views—including full-screen navigation—and 21 viewing options, including car status, navigation, driving data, phone information, driver assistance features, and more. Using the standard Discover Pro navigation system allows drivers to display a full screen map in the digital cluster and simultaneously on the center display.

User experience designers have developed a new graphics layout for Digital Cockpit specific to R models. Accessed with the new View button on the steering wheel, “R-View” presents a combination of three instruments: the rev counter with “R” logo in the center, flanked by two customizable instruments, which can be configured to show the engine’s boost pressure or the current power output, for instance. The tachometer can be displayed centrally in analog format, or horizontally at the top edge of the display in digital format. The scale ranges from zero to eight (equivalent to 0 to 8,000 rpm). When the manual DSG® mode is activated, this display provides easily visible shift recommendations for the track-only Special and Drift modes. Additionally, the Digital Cockpit Pro in the Golf R can display a variety of data such as the relative boost pressure, oil temperature, torque, power, a G-meter, the torque distribution of the all-wheel-drive system, and a lap timer for track work.

MIB3 Infotainment. The 2023 Golf R features an innovative Volkswagen MIB3 touchscreen infotainment system. The display utilizes a capacitive-touch sensor (as in smartphone and tablet technology) rather than the more common resistive touchscreens that require pressure, enabling controls like swiping and even pinch-zooming. Bluetooth technology for compatible devices is standard, as is App-Connect smartphone integration for compatible devices, which offers users the ability to run select smartphone apps directly on the vehicles display through services such as Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. 

Volkswagen’s Discover Pro unit with navigation and a 10-inch display is standard, and features wireless charging and wireless App-Connect for compatible devices, voice control, HD radio, SiriusXM® with 360L (three-month Platinum Plan trial), and four USB-C ports—two front, two charge-only rear—which are upgraded to 45W charging for 2023 (later availability). With a paid Car-Net Hotspot subscription and Plus Nav package, maps can be automatically updated with current traffic and construction information.

SiriusXM with 360L. Golf R models offer the most advanced audio entertainment platform—SiriusXM with 360L. SiriusXM’s next-generation platform combines satellite and streaming content delivery into a single, cohesive in-vehicle entertainment experience and provides more options than before, including access to more than 10,000 hours of SiriusXM’s On Demand content, and more live entertainment, available by subscription (three-month Platinum Plan trial subscription included). SiriusXM with 360L’s personalized “For You” recommendations help listeners to discover more of what they love. The enhanced sports play-by-play offering makes it easier to find the listener’s favorite team when it is game time, and individual listener profiles allow multiple drivers and passengers to customize their own favorite channels. You can see the all the features and benefits of SiriusXM with 360L in action in this video.

Volkswagen Car-Net®. Since its debut for the 2014 model year, Volkswagen Car-Net has allowed Volkswagen owners to get connected to their vehicles. For model year 2023, Car-Net Services will be offered in three areas: Remote Access, Safe & Secure, and Hotspot. For vehicles equipped with a MIB3 system and an active data plan, additional online features are available with a paid subscription that provides enhanced navigation and infotainment.

Car-Net Remote Access allows owners the ability to interact with their vehicle from miles away via the myVW mobile app. It is offered at no additional charge for five years from the date of vehicle purchase. Features include remote door lock and unlock, remote honk and flash of lights, last parked location, and remote vehicle status display, which provides information on estimated fuel level and mileage and door and window status.

VW Car-Net skills for Amazon AlexaTM are now available for most new Volkswagen vehicles. To set up, owners should open the skills page associated with their car model in their Alexa app and link the skill to their VW Car-Net account. This will allow them to use their voice on an Alexa-enabled device to ask Alexa to send remote commands from the comfort of their own home—for instance: “Alexa, ask Car-Net to honk my horn.”

For vehicles equipped with factory-installed navigation systems, Car-Net can make customers’ lives easier by locating off-street parking information and sending destinations or points of interest directly to their car from the app. Powered by ParkopediaTM, the Parking Information feature can help make owners’ lives easier by locating off-street parking information. Through the Navigate tab on the app, users can click the “P” icon to show available parking locations, either in the immediate vicinity or near a Point of Interest. Clicking on a specific location will display the address, hours of operation and pricing. Users can also send the location to their car’s navigation system, if so equipped, by clicking the “Send to Vehicle” button.

Vehicle Health Reports can provide owners easy access to diagnostic information. Reports generate automatically each month after enrollment and are sent directly to the email address in the owner’s profile; owners can also request updated reports anytime through the mobile app. When it’s time for scheduled service, Car-Net can not only notify the customer, but also provides a simple way to schedule a dealer visit.

Family Guardian services and Roadside Call Assist can provide added peace-of-mind no matter who is driving. Speed Alert notifies the owner when the pre-determined maximum speed limit is exceeded. Boundary Alert lets the owner know when the vehicle has traveled outside of a pre-set virtual boundary. Curfew Alert notifies the owner if the vehicle is driven while curfew alert is on. Valet Alert warns if the vehicle is driven more than 0.2 miles from the valet drop-off location. The myVW app allows users to control who receives notifications by designating primary and secondary users, with varying levels of control and functionality for each. Notifications can come in the form of text messages, emails, or push notifications from the mobile app itself. If the vehicle is disabled, Roadside Call Assist is available at the touch of the wrench button.

Car-Net Safe & Secure is a paid subscription service that includes Information Assistance, Emergency Assistance, Automatic Crash Notification, Anti-Theft Alert, and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance. The current subscription price is $159 per year before taxes and fees, and automatically renews annually at the end of the subscription term, unless cancelled.  Information Assistance—accessed through the i-call button within the vehicle—allows the driver to speak to a Car-Net agent for support needs, such as points of interest and account services. Emergency Assistance can be accessed through the SOS button in the vehicle, and, if a cellular connection can be established, puts the driver in contact with the Car-Net service center, who can direct emergency responders to the vehicle’s location and notify the user’s Emergency Contact.  Provided a cellular connection can be established, Automatic Crash Notification can help automatically notify an operator who can quickly contact first responders in the event of a collision. Anti-Theft Alert sends a push notification to the user if the vehicle’s anti-theft alarm is triggered, and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance uses Car-Net to assist law enforcement with locating the vehicle in the event that it is stolen.

Car-Net Hotspot allows passengers to access the internet with up to four connected devices simultaneously, including compatible tablets, smartphones, laptops, gaming devices, and more—at 4G LTE-enabled speed. Volkswagen recently introduced Carrier of Choice, giving our customers the option to select a data plan from either VerizonTM or T-Mobile ®.  With just a few clicks in the VW Car-Net mobile app or at vw.com/carnet, owners can add their new Volkswagen vehicle to their existing mobile data plan or purchase a new one. Verizon Wireless or T-Mobile customers with an existing mobile data plan can simply add their Volkswagen vehicle as a new line item to their existing monthly bill; non-Verizon or T-Mobile customers can set up an unlimited plan for $20/month, taxes and fees may apply.  

Car-Net Hotspot also offers additional annual paid subscription packages to enhance the navigation and infotainment experience for MY23 VW owners with a factory-installed MIB3 infotainment system. With an active data plan, the Plus Nav package ($69/year) allows drivers to access online map updates, traffic reports, fuel prices, and parking information. The Plus Speech package ($9/year) offers advance voice controls using natural language to enhance map destination entry for addresses and points of interest, media on demand and online radio.  The Plus Online Radio Package ($29/year) offers online internet radio with 30,000+ radio stations and podcasts. Media streaming apps can also be accessed at no additional charge, including iHeartRadioTM and TIDALTM (both require existing accounts).

The Golf R is an altogether different breed of Golf. In addition to being the performance benchmark of the Volkswagen catalog, the Mk8 Golf R is the most powerful production Golf ever. The 2.0-liter TSI® turbocharged and direct-injection unit that powers the Mk8 Golf R is a member of the latest, fourth-generation EA888 engine family and is built in a state-of-the-art factory in Gyor, Hungary.

In Golf R specification, the EA888 evo4 engine displaces 1984cc, producing 315 horsepower (achieved using premium fuel) at 5,600 rpm, and 295 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm on DSG-equipped models (manual-equipped models produce 315 hp at 5,900 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque at 1,900 rpm). The evo4 engine can be paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed DSG automatic transmission with Tiptronic. For the first time since the introduction of the DSG, the gearbox will stay in manual mode if the driver has selected it, when in “Special” or “Drift” driving mode. The DSG transmission incorporates a Start-Stop System designed to save fuel, as well as a launch control feature.

The EA888 engine line is a masterpiece of modern engine design that balances performance, efficiency, and drivability in a lightweight and compact package. The powerful four-cylinder engine uses an aluminum-alloy crossflow cylinder head that houses dual overhead camshafts. Volkswagen’s latest variable cam phasing system, which controls both intake and exhaust valves, as well as a variable lift system for the exhaust valves, help allow the traditionally opposing goals of performance and efficiency to be met simultaneously. The exhaust headers of the EA888 engine have been integrated directly into the cylinder head. This not only improves the system coolant operation (aiding rapid warm-up, which helps improve efficiency), but also allows greater thermal management of the exhaust stream. This, along with a turbocharger that can withstand extremely high exhaust temperatures, means the forced-induction system doesn’t require complex fuel enrichments under high load, helping improve efficiency at the other side of the curve.                   

The next-generation EA888 evo4 has been enhanced to optimize power development. Fuel is delivered by the latest high-pressure direct-fuel-injection system at 5,076 pounds per square inch, compared to 2,900 psi on the previous EA888 engine. Internal friction is minimized compared to its predecessor, which helps the Golf R hold its torque peak over a broader rpm range and gives the Mk8 Golf R noticeably more tractive power. A secondary benefit of the reduced friction is that engine acoustics are improved.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for Golf R models equipped with the six-speed manual is 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined. When equipped with the optional seven-speed DSG transmission, Golf R delivers EPA-estimated fuel economy of 23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined.

4Motion® all-wheel-drive system with rear-axle torque vectoring. The advanced torque vectoring system in the Mk8 Golf R serves as the foundation for its updated handling abilities, delivering a new level of performance for its category.

While the previous generation’s 4Motion system could send up to 50 percent of the engine’s total power to the rear axle via a multi-plate clutch, the new system distributes the drive power not just between the front and rear axles, but also between the two rear wheels. Using a rear differential with two multi-plate clutches, it can distribute up to 100 percent of the rear torque to an individual rear wheel. This makes it possible to significantly increase the agility of the Golf R, particularly when cornering. The system is designed to apportion power between the wheels based on speed, throttle application, yaw, and other factors. In a typical corner, more power can be directed to the wheel on the outside of the curve in a matter of milliseconds, reducing the cornering radius.

The benefits of the latest-generation 4Motion system are still retained, helping to eliminate traction losses. The system activates before wheelspin occurs by using an advanced control function based on specific driving conditions. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, the front wheels are driven and the rear wheels are decoupled, helping to save fuel. However, the rear wheels can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary via the center differential, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.

A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates in proportion to the torque desired at the rear axle. So, the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to continuously vary the amount of torque going between the front and rear wheels, up to a maximum of 50 percent at the rear axle.

In addition to the center differential that acts longitudinally and the torque vectoring function of the rear axle, electronic differential locks that are a function of the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system act laterally. The system can briefly brake a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side.

The eighth-generation Golf R is built on Volkswagen’s MQB modular platform. The unitary construction chassis has two solid-mounted subframes with bolt-on front fenders, and utilizes technologies such as the laser clamp welder, which produces “wobble seam” welds in a wave pattern to help maximize strength in a limited space.

The Golf R has a stamped steel body and chassis that boasts a large percentage of high-strength, hot-formed steel. This technology allows much of the chassis and body to be constructed from thinner and lighter parts without loss in strength. In the Mk8, the chassis benefits from a further increase in the use of ultra-high-strength steel. Significantly, the Mk8 Golf R front suspension weight has been cut by nearly seven pounds thanks to an extremely rigid aluminum subframe.

In the front, an updated strut-type design with lower control arms has spring rates that are 10 percent stiffer than those of the previous Golf R, with adjusted damper hydraulics and increased range of variability. The damper bump-stops and control arm bushings have been reconfigured, and the bonded rubber mounts of the transverse links have been optimized for enhanced comfort and higher steering precision. Compared to its predecessor, camber has been increased significantly, for an additional one-degree and 20 minutes of negative camber. Finally, the anti-roll bar is 10 percent stiffer, and the rubber anti-roll bar mounts are directly vulcanized onto the bar; this process guarantees optimal acoustic characteristics as well as outstanding responsiveness.

The rear axle utilizes a multi-link design with an anti-roll bar: this configuration allows a high level of lateral rigidity for optimal handling while also maximizing compliance on the longitudinal axis to ensure ride comfort. The spring rate is 10 percent stiffer than that of the outgoing Mk7 Golf R, with damper hydraulics adjusted accordingly. The damper bearings and helper springs are also updated.

The connection of the anti-roll bar and damper at the spring link is a key design feature; this reduces the forces within the axle. Finally, the rear suspension employs updated control arm mounts and newly designed hub carriers, which significantly improve steering precision and driving stability. The track and camber values are set individually via eccentric bolts on the spring link and upper transverse link.

On the Mk8 models, vehicle dynamics settings closely integrate the electronic stability control (ESC) with the electronic differential lock (XDS®) and the standard DCC® adaptive damping system. By adapting the individual wheel damping 200 times a second, it can deliver particularly agile and accurate handling.

All 2023 Golf R models come equipped with larger 14.1-inch front and 12.2-inch rear vented disc brakes. The front calipers are a two-piston floating design, while the rotors are now cross-drilled and supported with aluminum hats for a 1.3-lb weight reduction. An advanced electromechanical brake servo helps to sharpen pedal response, shortening braking distances in testing. At the same time, the system allows precise brake pedal modulation in higher brake pressure range.

Driving Mode Selection. The Driving Mode Selection feature now offers six modes: “Comfort,” “Sport,” “Race,” “Drift,” “Special,” and “Custom.” The pre-programmed modes have a different steering heft and throttle response, while Custom allows a driver to tailor the steering and throttle to their preference. On cars with the DSG transmission, the sportier modes give more aggressive shifts. In Comfort mode, shift algorithms optimize compliance and steering effort lightens, and throttle response and ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) acceleration are dampened.

In track-only “Drift” mode, the Golf R changes its stability control parameters (to ESC Sport), and the torque vectoring system kicks off the drift by sending all available rear torque to the outside wheel. To help ensure that the profile is only selected on private roads, the infotainment system always displays a confirmation prompt before it is activated.

The Golf R also has a “Special” setting configured for highest performance around Germany’s famed Nรผrburgring Nordschleife racetrack. Torque vectoring is optimized for the track’s cornering profile, along with softer suspension damping settings.

In both Drift and Special modes, the accelerator pedal response curve has been crafted in order to create an unfiltered sense of performance. This high degree of control is an advantage when it comes to perfect drifts on snow and ice, or on asphalt. Additionally, the DSG calibration has been optimized to keep the rpm consistently high. In automatic mode, the dual-clutch gearbox switches up as late as possible and down as early as possible, which aids power development.

DCC. The Golf R features the latest version of the DCC adaptive damping system, which manages the suspension’s rebound and compression rates individually, helping to improve vehicle dynamics. The DCC adaptive damping system continuously reacts to the road surface and driving situation while taking into account various inputs such as steering, braking, and acceleration. By means of the set driving profile mode, the driver can influence the reduction in body motion as desired. The required damping is calculated for each wheel and adjusted at the four dampers within fractions of a second. This ensures that DCC always provides the highest level of driving comfort and ideal driving dynamics in conjunction with the vehicle dynamics system. For example, “Comfort” optimizes the suspension dampers for a smooth highway ride, while “Sport” favors a firmer setting for better cornering performance.

In the latest DCC generation, the vehicle setup can be extended in “Custom” mode to go beyond the existing range of the fixed “Comfort,” “Sport,” and “Race” modes. The driver can set and store their personal driving profile using a digital slider to adjust damping firmness. Beyond the “Comfort” setting, the body is isolated from the road surface as much as possible. Beyond “Sport” mode, there is an extended setting range with maximum damping for minimized body movements and extremely direct handling.

ESC Sport. Another standout feature on the Golf R is the ESC Sport and ESC Off functions, for very experienced drivers for use only on closed courses, such as a racetrack. The system is activated by accessing the “Vehicle” menu from the infotainment display. In ESC Sport mode, the ESC thresholds and traction control (ASR) slip thresholds are increased to reduce the intensity of interventions. In ESC Off mode, ambitious drivers can deactivate ESC altogether. However, Front Assist and Swerve Assist reactivate ESC in emergencies.

Progressive variable-ratio steering. A progressive variable-ratio electric power steering system has been specifically tuned for the Mk8 Golf R. This is an elegant solution to help with a common problem with steering systems, which is that different speeds and maneuvers ideally require different steering rates. In this case, the teeth on the steering rack are spaced more tightly toward the center than on a normal rack. The lower steering ratio in the center means that the car can respond quickly when entering a turn, while the higher ratio at the ends of the rack can help reduce the amount of effort needed near full steering lock, such as when parking. The Golf R uses an enhanced system with a more direct ratio and new software, enabling steering lock of just 1.97 turns.

Safety and Driver Assistance
To help protect occupants, the Golf R provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard (front and side airbags for front passengers and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions), along with a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). All Golf R models feature a standard rearview camera.

A standard feature on the Golf R is Volkswagen’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this, in certain crash scenarios, by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus potentially reducing residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.

The Golf R also includes Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions.

Volkswagen’s IQ.DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology features hands-on semi-automated capability. On the highway, IQ.DRIVE features lane centering and a capacitive steering wheel to make driving easier. Around town, IQ.DRIVE alerts you to surprise obstacles in front of you, and keeps an eye around you to help make driving safer.

IQ.DRIVE is available on the Golf R. The system utilizes front and rear radar, a front camera and several ultrasound sensors to collect data from the surrounding area, enabling Travel Assist (semi-automated driving assistance); Front Assist (Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring); Active Side Assist (Blind Spot Monitor); Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Stop and Go; Lane Assist (Lane Keeping System); and Emergency Assist (semi-automated vehicle assistance in a medical emergency). Emergency Assist is only available on models equipped with an automatic transmission.

Travel Assist, standard on the Golf R, enables semi-automated hands-on driving capability from 0 to 95 mph. Travel Assist can be activated by a button on the steering wheel, and uses the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Assist (Lane Keeping Assist) features to help to steer as well as accelerate and brake the vehicle in response to traffic and center the vehicle within lane markings. This allows the driver to observe driving tasks while using minimal force on the wheel. It is the driver’s responsibility to continuously monitor the system, remain alert, and maintain control of the vehicle at all times. To ensure this, Travel Assist monitors the capacitive steering wheel to make sure the driver has their hands on it. When Travel Assist is active, the cockpit display can show the lane markings (solid or dotted) and adjacent vehicles (car, motorcycle or box truck).

Front Assist, standard on the Golf R, is intended to warn drivers of potential frontal collisions (Forward Collision Warning) with vehicles and pedestrians, and in some cases provide automatic braking assistance (Automatic Emergency Braking). The system can also detect cyclists or pedestrians traveling parallel to the vehicle and alert the driver if they turn into the vehicle’s path.

Within physical system limits, Forward Collision Warning warns the driver of potential imminent front-end collision situations, both acoustically and visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster if the car is traveling above 18 mph. Furthermore, an automatic jolt of the brakes can warn the driver of the danger. If the driver fails to brake, Automatic Emergency Braking is activated to help slow the vehicle.  If the car is traveling below 18 mph and the system detects a potential front-end collision, Automatic Emergency Braking activates without a prior acoustic and visual warning. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, the brake pressure is increased by the system (Braking Support).

Active Side Assist (Blind Spot Monitor) is standard on the Golf R. Side Assist uses two radar sensors at the rear of the vehicle to scan the approaching traffic and is intended to warn drivers of the presence of other vehicles in adjacent lanes. If the driver uses the turn signal to indicate a lane change while a vehicle is detected in a blind spot, the system utilizes a flashing LED symbol in the outer area of the side mirrors. Even if the driver does not use a turn signal, the LED symbol in the mirror will illuminate if a vehicle is detected in the blind spot. The system is designed to help alert drivers in specific situations; stationary objects or oncoming vehicles do not trigger warnings, nor do vehicles more than one lane across away from the vehicle.

If Lane Assist is active, the system not only warns the driver with the flashing LED symbol if a vehicle is detected in the blind spot, but within system limits, it can also countersteer to help keep the car in its lane even if the turn signal is on. If the driver still tries to steer out of the lane, the system will warn with an additional vibration of the steering wheel.

The Rear Traffic Alert system, standard on the Golf R, is intended to detect vehicles approaching from the side that may be difficult for the driver to see while reversing. The system offers a 180-degree view of the back of the car with a range of 65 feet, and will present a visual and an acoustic warning, if a potential collision with a crossing vehicle is detected. If the driver does not react, the system can apply the brakes to help mitigate and, in the best case, can prevent a collision. The system is activated by putting the car in reverse.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Stop & Go, standard on the Golf R, standard on all trims equipped with DSG transmission (manual has ACC standard without Stop & Go), radar to maintain a set speed while helping maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. The driver sets the speed and the desired spacing via buttons on the multifunction steering wheel and can further use those buttons to adjust and cancel the ACC function while the accelerator can be used to override the ACC function. Pressing the brakes always cancels the ACC function. All ACC-related system messages appear in the central multifunction display.

When the roadway ahead of the vehicle is clear, the system maintains the set speed. Models fitted with ACC can match speeds with a vehicle in front and come to a stop if the vehicle in front stops. If the car in front moves within three seconds, ACC will resume automatically to the set speed. If the car stands longer than three seconds, the driver can resume ACC control by pressing the accelerator pedal or the “resume” button on the steering wheel.

Lane Assist (Lane Keeping System) is standard on the Golf R. When driving above 40 mph, if the system’s camera recognizes visible lane markings and, using a special algorithm, calculates that the vehicle is unintentionally straying from its lane without using a turn signal, Lane Assist actively countersteers to help keep the vehicle in its lane. If the driver takes his or her hands off the wheel for a defined period of time, the system provides an audible warning and a visual signal in the instrument cluster, asking the driver to take over.

The system will not intervene if it cannot properly detect lane markings. If the turn signal has been set before crossing a lane marking, the Lane Assist system will not intervene or give a warning. The driver can override the system at any time by applying minimal force to the steering wheel.

Emergency Assist, standard on the Golf R equipped with automatic transmission, can bring the vehicle to a stop if the driver is incapacitated. Emergency Assist constantly monitors the driver’s attentiveness by checking the input of their hands on the steering wheel. If the system does not detect driver input, a series of warnings (visual, audible, and brake jolts) will occur. If still no input is detected, Emergency Assist will slow the vehicle to a gradual stop in its own lane and activate hazard lights. Emergency Assist requires Lane Assist to be active for the system to intervene.

In addition to IQ.DRIVE, the Golf R has available Park Distance Control, Park Assist (Parking Steering Assistant), Dynamic Road Sign Display and Light Assist (High Beam Control for headlights).

Park Distance Control, standard on the Golf R, uses ultrasonic sensors located in the front and rear bumpers to monitor a range of up to approximately five feet in front or behind the vehicle. The system may activate below 9 mph and helps provide guidance when parking or in tight spaces. The system has audible and visual warnings when the car starts to approach parked cars or static objects of sufficient size from the rear.

Maneuver Braking, a part of the Park Distance Control system, is intended to mitigate or help prevent collisions with detected static obstacles to the front and rear while the vehicle is maneuvered. The system is active between 1-6 mph. If the system detects a stationary object, it can apply the brakes automatically to help prevent or mitigate a collision. The system can be deactivated at any time using the touch display or permanently in the setup menu.

Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) is standard on the Golf R. This system can automatically steer the car into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces (the latter both forward and in reverse). While driving below 25 mph, pressing the Park Assist button in the center console will activate the system to scan the left and right sides of the vehicle for parking spots. By using the turn signal indicator, the driver can indicate which side of the road they would like to park. When the system detects a space, “Parking Space Found” will appear in the multifunction display. The driver only needs to select a gear and activate the accelerator pedal and brake, as Park Assist can automatically help steer the vehicle into the parking space. The driver can override or deactivate the steering assistance at any time by turning the steering wheel, or pressing the button.

Dynamic Road Sign Display, standard on the Golf R, uses a forward-facing camera to detect and read road signs. After verifying the information with signage data stored in the onboard navigation, the system alerts the driver on the Discover Media screen in the center console, and on the Digital Cockpit Pro instrument display.

One final driver assistance feature helps provide drivers with better visibility. Light Assist, standard on the Golf R, automatically switches on the headlamp high beams above 37 mph on dark or poorly lit roads, if there is no oncoming traffic detected. Below 18 mph, the high beams automatically switch off.

Warranty & Maintenance
Every 2023 Golf R comes with a bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty and Carefree Maintenance Program. The warranty provides coverage for four years or 50,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and can be transferred to a subsequent owner throughout the remainder of its duration. The Carefree Maintenance Program provides scheduled maintenance services for two years or 20,000 miles (whichever occurs first) at no additional charge, and can be transferred to a subsequent owner throughout the remainder of its duration.

Competitive Set
Honda Civic Type R, Subaru WRX STI

About Volkswagen
Volkswagen of America, Inc. is an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG. Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, Volkswagen Group of America’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices. Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of VWGoA, operates a state-of-the-art assembly facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, while VW Credit, Inc., another wholly owned subsidiary of VWGoA, provides financial services. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Arteon, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport, Golf GTI, Golf R, ID.4, Jetta, Jetta GLI, Taos, and Tiguan vehicles through more than 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more. 

“4Motion”, “Car-Net”, “Climatronic”, “DCC”, “DSG”, “IQ.DRIVE”, “KESSY”, “myVW” “TSI”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, “XDS”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “Amazon”, “Alexa” and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. “CarPlay” is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. “Bluetooth” is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. “MirrorLink” is a registered trademark of the Car Connectivity Consortium LLC.  “Android Auto” is a trademark of Google LLC. “harman/kardon” is a trademark of Harman International Industries, Incorporated. “Parkopedia” is a trademark of Parkopedia Limited. “Tiptronic” is a registered trademark of Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche AG. ”SiriusXM” and all related logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and its respective subsidiaries. “T-Mobile” is a registered trademark of Deutsche Telekom AG. “Verizon Wireless” is a trademark of Verizon Trademark Services, LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

This information and any vehicle specifications are preliminary and subject to change.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

All prices provided are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price and exclude destination, taxes, title, accessories installation, other options and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.

Always pay careful attention to the road, and do not drive while distracted.

When using keyless push-button start or remote start, do not leave vehicle unattended with the engine running, particularly in enclosed spaces. See owner’s literature for important information.

Always ensure cargo is properly secured. See owner’s literature for important information.

Not all App-Connect features are available on all operating systems. Standard text and data usage rates apply. App-Connect features require compatible device, operating system, and mobile apps. See mobile device and app providers for terms and privacy.

SiriusXM trial period begins upon vehicle in-service date. Trial length and service availability may vary by model, model year or trim. Service will automatically stop at the end of your trial subscription period unless you decide to subscribe, in which case the plan will automatically renew in accordance with your selected service. If you do not wish to enjoy your trial, you can cancel by calling the number below.  All SiriusXM services require a subscription, each sold separately by SiriusXM after the trial period. Service subject to the SiriusXM Customer Agreement and Privacy Policy, visit www.siriusxm.com to see complete terms and how to cancel which includes calling 1-866-635-2349. Some services and features are subject to device capabilities and location availability. Certain features and/or content may not be available in vehicles with SiriusXM with 360L unless an active data connection is enabled in the vehicle. Content varies by SiriusXM subscription package.  All fees, content and features are subject to change.

SiriusXM with 360L requires vehicle to be equipped with MIB3 infotainment system, acceptance of VW-Car Net Terms of Service, and acceptance of SiriusXM customer agreement and privacy policy.

Car-Net Remote Access available on most MY20 and newer vehicles, and are offered at no additional charge for five years from vehicle in-service date.  Always pay careful attention to the road and do not drive while distracted.  Certain services require trial or paid subscriptions, which may have their own terms and conditions. VW Car-Net requires cellular connectivity, availability of vehicle GPS signal, and acceptance of Terms of Service. Not all services and features are available on all vehicles.  Certain Car-Net services, such as Roadside Call Assist, connect out to third party providers that may require additional payment.  Standard text and data rates may apply for app and web features.  Certain services may collect location and vehicle information. See Terms of Service, Privacy Statement, and other important information at www.vw.com/carnet.

Using remote start requires compatible factory-installed or dealer-installed remote start feature and myVW app. See owner’s manual section on remote start function and www.vw.com/carnet for further details and important warnings about this remote access feature. Do not leave vehicle unattended with the engine running, particularly in enclosed spaces, and consult local laws for any limitations on use.  

When using remote access features, see Opening and Closing section of your owner’s manual and www.vw.com/carnet for additional warnings and information related to locking and unlocking your vehicle remotely.

Do not use Last Parked Location feature to locate stolen vehicles.

Refer to your vehicle's warning and indicator lights for the most current diagnostic information. Always consult owner's literature for maintenance guidelines.

Use of the Car-Net smart home integration may require compatible home device and account.

Sending destinations to your vehicle requires compatible factory-installed navigation system.

Parking Information requires parking facility participation. Volkswagen not responsible for accuracy of pricing & payment options, hours of operation, and features. See Parkopedia.com for important information and details.

Not all systems and components are reported by Vehicle Health Reports. Refer to your vehicle's warning and indicator lights for the most current diagnostic information. Always consult owner's literature for maintenance guidelines.

Roadside Call Assist connects you to a Roadside Call Assist third-party provider and may require additional payment for use.

Discounted insurance rates may not be available in all states. Discounts are provided by third-party auto insurance companies and are not guaranteed. Use of your vehicle by multiple drivers may impact your driving score and your ability to obtain discounted insurance. Always obey all speed and traffic laws.

Information Assistance (i-call button) requires a paid subscription.

Car-Net Safe & Secure requires a paid subscription. Subscription automatically renews and is charged annually at end of subscription term unless canceled. Price subject to change and excludes taxes and other fees.

Emergency Assistance and Automatic Crash Notification require a paid Safe & Secure subscription and may require additional payment for emergency and other third-party services rendered.

Anti-theft Alert requires a paid subscription and myVW App.

Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance requires a paid Safe & Secure subscription and is for use by law enforcement authorities only. See Terms of Service for details.

The Car-Net Hotspot feature is intended for passenger use only. 4G LTE coverage is not available in all areas. See materials provided for terms, privacy, data security details. Requires trial or paid Wi-Fi plan from third-party wireless provider.

Media streaming requires vehicle to be equipped with MIB3 infotainment system, acceptance of VW Car-Net Terms of Service, streaming service subscription, and active data plan with vehicle cellular connectivity.

Plus Nav, Plus Speech and Plus Radio Anywhere services require paid subscription, vehicle to be equipped with MIB3 infotainment system, acceptance of VW-Car Net Terms of Service, active data plan, and vehicle cellular and GPS connectivity. Available Plus Speech voice control functions vary based on vehicle equipment. Plus Nav and Plus Speech services offered for 3 years from vehicle in-service date.

Where stated, fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. See www.fueleconomy.gov for details. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors, including driving habits and vehicle condition.

Drift mode is only to be used on racetracks or closed courses by drivers who are trained, skilled, and experienced in drifting. Drifting can result in accidents and serious injuries or death.  See owner’s literature for important information.

Top track speed electronically limited in U.S. Always obey all speed and traffic laws.

Airbags are supplemental restraints only and will not deploy under all crash circumstances. Always use safety belts and seat children only in the rear, using restraint systems appropriate for their size and age.

The Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS) will only activate in a collision where the airbags deploy or safety belt pretensioners activate. Not all collisions cause airbags to deploy or safety belt pretensioners to activate.

Driver assistance features are not substitutes for attentive driving. See owner’s literature for important information.

Park Assist utilizes automated steering. However, entering and exiting parking spots, as well as preventing collisions are always the responsibility of the driver. See owner’s literature for important information.

Four years/50,000 miles (whichever occurs first) New Vehicle Limited Warranty on MY20 and newer VW vehicles. See owner’s literature for important information.

The Carefree Maintenance Program on MY20 and newer vehicles provides the 10,000- and 20,000-mile scheduled maintenance services or scheduled maintenance services for two years (whichever occurs first) as stated in the vehicle’s maintenance booklet. See dealer or owner’s literature for provided services, exclusions, and time and other limitations. The Carefree Maintenance Program does not provide tire rotations, or other services or parts not specified in the owner’s literature.

Full specs: https://media.vw.com/assets/documents/original/15702-2023GolfRTechnicalSpecsFINAL.pdf


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