The 20-year-old Volkswagen Golf R is the fastest Volkswagen R car on the Nürburgring. However, it does not equate to the best modern agreements of equivalent strength.
When we talk about records, it’s all about standards, and car manufacturers are quick to lower the comparison points as much as possible when it comes to praising the performance of a new model. The Volkswagen Golf R “20 Years”, a limited edition sports compact that celebrates two decades of R variants (a line born with the Golf 4 R32), has set a record by becoming the fastest Volkswagen R in history on the Nürburgring circuit. In addition to the fact that it is the newest R model to date, and therefore the logically most successful, this version has an additional 13 hp compared to the standard Golf R, i.e. 333 hp. In addition, the R-Performance package receives as standard, including revised torque management, a top speed increase from 250 to 270 km/h, a drift mode and a “special” mode calibrated specifically for the Nürburgring. More powerful than the 300 hp T-Roc R as well as the 320 hp Arteon R and Tiguan R, it’s also significantly lighter than the Touareg R. Volkswagen hasn’t announced the times of all these models on the track, but it’s no surprise then that its latest model outperforms on her. Above all, it took 4 seconds less than the current standard Golf R to cover the 20.6 km of the famous Nordschleife (North Ring), and complete the exercise in 7’47”31, thus about 23 seconds of the previous generation Golf R found.
Strange choice of way
Surprisingly, the Golf R “20 Years” course was timed on a portion of Nordschleife that was discontinued in scoring attempts in 2019, when the circuit management decided to better supervise those attempts. This design excludes about 200 meters from the circuit’s total distance of 20,832 km. In detail, the clock starts at the end of the short straight line that passes in front of runway T13 and stops at its beginning, on a line that now generally serves as a starting and ending point. The choice of Volkswagen therefore precludes comparing the performance of the “20-year-old” Golf R with the times of the latest manufacturers. However, its driver Benjamin Lochter performed better than the German journalists from Sport Auto magazine on the same track in 2020 at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG A 45 S, which turned out to be a 7’48”80. The difference is noticeable because the compact Stuttgart, with its turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive system like Wolfsburg, is much more powerful with 421 hp.
The best withdrawals stay faster
On the other hand, the use of the 20.6 km road makes it possible to measure the “20-year-old” Golf R against many models that I have handled in the hands of professional pilots on behalf of the brands. And in the category of compact cars, it turns out that the best traction to date on the market for a longer period remains ahead of the German. The 310-horsepower Golf 7 GTI Clubsport S beats its heir a bit, turning out a 7’47”19 at 20.6km six years ago now. However, this hypothetical parity against the clock plays in the R’s favor because the Clubsport S did not have a back seat and a number of comfort gear, unlike the new model. Another stripped traction designed for the track, The 300 hp Renault Megane RS Trophy-R, on the other hand, remains the queen of its class with 7’40”10 for 2019 (7’45”389 in the full ring). The comparison with the 2017 Honda Civic Type R is more painful for the Golf. Because like the latter, the Nippone remains versatile with its classic rear seats and gear, but it’s transformed into a 7.43″ 80 with 320 horsepower. The new R model just-revealed fared better than its predecessor at Suzuka, while waiting as long as possible at the Nürburgring. What time The right fit for the new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport?