It was in 2002 that Volkswagen first launched the Golf R32 based on the fourth generation of the Golf hatchback, and now 20 years on VW is celebrating the milestone with a special Golf R packing extra power and a few additional unique tweaks.
The current Golf R launched for the 2022 model year is the spiritual successor to the original V-6-powered Golf R32, and the special anniversary version, known as the Golf R 20 Years, is confirmed to reach North America this summer, albeit with a unique specification.
The original Golf R32 was powered by a 3.2-liter V-6 good for 237 hp. It was the most powerful Golf that VW had built up to that point, and as a result was given an all-wheel-drive system to help put the power down.
2022 Volkswagen Golf R 20 Years and 2002 Volkswagen Golf R32
The Golf R 20 Years is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 good for 329 hp, or enough for 0-62 mph acceleration in 4.6 seconds. The stock Golf R has 315 hp and needs 4.7 seconds to hit 62 mph. The Golf R 20 Years will also reach a top speed of 167 mph, though in standard form the top speed is capped at 155 mph. All-wheel drive is standard but drivers can choose between a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. A special touch is an Emotion Start feature which revs the engine to 2,500 rpm upon startup for a bit of theater.
The Golf R 20 Years comes standard with the Golf R's R Performance package which includes torque vectoring and the Vehicle Dynamics Manager with additional Special and Drift modes. Special badging, both inside and out, further sets apart the special car from the stock version.
Local pricing hasn't been announced but in VW's home market of Germany the Golf R 20 Years starts at 59,995 euros (approximately $64,125). Production of all VW Golf models is handled at a Volkswagen Group plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, and production of the Golf R 20 Years will run for a single year only.