Volkswagen Brings New GTI and R at Chicago Auto Show
The new generation Volkswagen GTI and R hatchbacks finally arrived in America at this week's Chicago Auto Show. The 2022 models will go on sale this fall and at first glance closely match their European counterparts, including power which is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder for both. The 8th generation GTI, with a direct line to the original "hot hatchback" craze of the 1980s, outputs 241-horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque through either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The Golf R rates 295-horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, a bit less than the European model due to lower American gasoline octane ratings. Trasnsmission is a 6-speed manual only.The 2022 GTI introduces a load of interior and handling upgrades over its predecessor, and has a starting price of $29,545 for the S model with manual transmission. The fifth iteration of Volkswagen’s halo hatchback, the 2022 Golf R offers new performance-oriented content, premium features and further differentiation from the GTI, with a starting priceof $43,645. The 2022 Golf GTI and Golf R are an evolution of the Golf-family design formula. They are slightly longer and sportier, but still carry the styling hallmarks of their predecessors, such as the distinctive C-pillar. The Mark 8 cars have a fresh face courtesy of a more sharply raked hood, new signature LED headlights and an available light bar in the grille either side of the updated VW logo. Golf R models feature a blue grille line and brake calipers, a new wheel design, more aggressive front and rear bumpers and diffusers than on GTI, a large two-piece rear spoiler, body-colored side sill extensions, and a quad-tipped exhaust system. The new GTI comes standard with the electronically controlled torque-sensing limited-slip VAQ differential. Compared with mechanically operated differentials, the system in the GTI offers a variable degree of intervention depending on the actual driving situation and ESC, EDS and XDS+ functions. This makes it possible to avoid steering corruption, as is the case with purely mechanical differentials. The VAQ differential optimizes grip and handling in fast corners, thus enhancing the performance and helping to decrease understeer, a traditional weakness of front-drive cars. On the Golf R, Volkswagen has installed a new all-wheel-drive system with rear-axle torque vectoring. This serves as the foundation for the updated handling abilities of the Golf R, delivering a new level of performance for its category. 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 torque vectoring system in the 2022 Golf R uses a rear differential with two multi-plate clutches that can distribute up to 100 percent of the rear torque to an individual rear wheel. This system is designed to apportion power between the wheels based on speed, power application, yaw and other factors. In a typical corner, the system can direct more power to the wheel on the outside of the curve in a matter of milliseconds, reducing the cornering radius. Inside, the 2022 Golf GTI and Golf R feature entirely new electronic architecture, enabling a digitally networked world of displays and controls. The 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro is standard, allowing drivers to create a customized display of pertinent information, including car status, driving data, phone information, album art, driver assistance features and more. Models equipped with the Discover Pro infotainment system with navigation are able to display a full screen map in the digital cluster and simultaneously on the 10-inch center display.