It’s back, and better than ever.

It would be impossible to talk about the Volkswagen GTI without mentioning the Golf R. Sure, the original hot hatch is responsible for starting the movement in the first place, but the latter simply takes the performance of the famous VW to another level. Mat Watson from Carwow talks about the Golf R at length in his latest video.

Starting with the exterior, there are several design cues unique to the flagship model. At the front, the nose features a more aggressive aesthetic with deeper, chiseled lines. Moving to the back, we are happy to report that the quad exhaust pipes are real – passing the patented Mat Watson stick test. Keeping with its heritage, the vehicle also comes with blue-painted brake calipers.

Gallery: 2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Power comes from the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine as the previous model, putting out 320 horsepower (238.6 kilowatts) to all four wheels. VW claims that the vehicle can sprint to 60 mph (96.6 km/h) in 4.7 seconds, but Watson wagers that the German automaker’s figure is quite conservative. Thanks to its more advanced all-wheel-drive system – with torque vectoring and locking differentials at both axles – Watson could get the Golf R to 60 mph in just four seconds flat.

Things are much the same on the inside with minor alterations taking the hatchback up to Golf R spec. Starting with the cockpit, the steering wheel comes with elongated paddle shifters – Watson mentions that they do feel rather cheap – and blue stitching. Much like the current GTI, the vehicle uses a fully digital dashboard display. Front passengers can also expect the same tightly bolstered seats to keep them in place.

Unsurprisingly, the new and exciting features make this car a big improvement over its predecessor. However, we’d be remiss not to mention that in the UK, the current Golf GTI is significantly cheaper, sitting at approximately £33,460 compared to the Golf R at £39,270.