The Volkswagen Golf R 20 Years edition made its official debut in May this year, but the hardcore hot hatch is back in the headlines with a new record. This model is now officially the fastest Volkswagen R-branded vehicle to ever pass the Nurburgring with a time of 7:47.31 minutes beating the standard Golf R’s time of around four seconds.
Launched to mark two decades since the launch of the Golf R32, the first and original VW to sport the R logo, the Golf R 20 Years reaches its limits around the legendary German track with touring car racer and Volkswagen R development racer Benjamin Leuchter behind the wheel. Thanks to hardware upgrades, the car is capable of reaching a top speed of nearly 165 miles per hour (265 kilometers per hour) on some parts of the circuit.
“With this car, I can drive on the Nurburgring and the next stop is a bakery or DIY shop. This is a truly versatile vehicle that can do anything,” Leuchter summarizes his experience behind the wheel. His statement highlights the nature of the special edition Golf R, which can be used both on the track and as an everyday vehicle.
While it doesn’t have a V6 engine like its predecessor, the 20 Years Golf R relies on a modified version of Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The four-cylinder TSI unit produces 328 horsepower (245 kilowatts) in this application, compared to 315 hp (235 kW) for the regular Golf R. These numbers effectively make the Golf production hot hatch the most powerful in history.
Acceleration from 0-62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) takes just 4.6 seconds, while the top speed is set electronically at 168 mph (270 kph), meaning the car is very close to its limit on the Nurburgring. Other enhancements that aid around track performance come in the form of the standard R-Performance package with a new Special and Drift driving profile exclusive to the model.
Volkswagen will have a 20-Year Golf R edition on sale until spring 2023, meaning it’s labeled as a limited-production hot hatch.