More power and a lot of work went into the details: Volkswagen presents the facelift of the top sports model Golf R, which will also be available as an estate and as an exclusive "Black Edition" special model. We were able to take a look at all the models in advance and even take a seat.

Exterior | Engine | WheelsChassis | Interior

Gallery: VW Golf R (2024)

Exterior

As usual, Volkswagen has left the exterior with subtle retouching so as not to make the predecessor look unnecessarily old. The 2024 models can be recognised above all by the redesigned front end with the eye-catching side air curtains and the new headlights already familiar from the facelift of the normal Golf, which are connected by an illuminated bar.

All Golf R models are now equipped with LED Plus headlights as standard. For the first time, the R also has an illuminated VW logo at the front.

The changes at the rear are limited to a new design of the lights, which are now available with customisable welcome lights for the first time. The models with the "Performance Package" can also be recognised at the rear by a particularly large, air-flow roof edge spoiler that optimises downforce.

The exhaust system remains the familiar four-flow standard version as well as the optional Akrapovic system, which now sounds somewhat throatier. The appearance of the eye-catching diffuser could be somewhat spoilt by a hitch, as the Golf R is available for the first time with a trailer coupling that can tow up to 1,900 kg.

Gallery: VW Golf R Estate (2024)

Engine 

There have also been changes to the engine output. Compared to the previous model, the output has increased by 13 PS and now stands at 333 PS. This means the power increase of the "20 Years R" and the Golf R 333 special models becomes standard output across all models. The maximum torque of 420 Nm remains unchanged. For the first time, this output is also available in the Golf R Estate.

The 0 to 62 mph times are reduced to 4.6 and 4.8 seconds for the Estate. The top speed can also be increased by 12 mph to 168 mph in the latest generation with a "performance package". That is 1 mph more than before.

Wheels

In addition to the familiar wheels in the Golf R portfolio, Volkswagen has given the facelift a new, truly beautiful wheel design. The 19-inch forged wheels are named "Warmenau", a district of Wolfsburg. Weighing just eight kilograms per rim, the wheels are around 20 per cent lighter than comparable alloy wheels.

VW Golf R (2024)

VW Golf R (2024) with "Warmenau" wheel rim

This reduces the unsprung masses, which should benefit the driving behaviour. In addition, the very large degree of opening of the rims (71 per cent) improves the stability and wear resistance of the brakes. This reduces the thermal load on the brakes, especially on the racetrack.

Chassis

On the suspension side, the Driving Dynamics Manager, which networks all relevant systems, has been re-tuned. With the Driving Dynamics Manager, the electromechanical functions of the all-wheel drive, the electronic differential lock and the lateral dynamics components of the DCC dampers are controlled in a coordinated manner during every driving manoeuvre.

It also integrates the 4MOTION all-wheel drive with R-Performance Torque Vectoring. For the first time, the previously optional DCC adaptive chassis control system is now on board as standard in Germany. We have already been able to test how well it works.

The Golf R offers the driving profiles "Comfort", "Sport", "Race" and "Individual" as well as - in conjunction with the Performance Package - "Special" and "Drift". This range is now extended by the "Eco" driving profile, which makes leisurely journeys even more sustainable. All profiles have been re-tuned and the "R" profile has been significantly sharpened. 

VW Golf R (2024)

VW Golf R (2024)

Interior

The greatest progress has been made in the interior and here in the infotainment, which was urgently needed in view of the problems with the early Golf 8. The Golf R now also relies on the latest-generation infotainment system with a large, free-standing display and comprehensively revised menu navigation.

As we were able to see for ourselves, the new system not only works smoothly at all times, but is also much more clearly structured and has the option of storing many functions as favourites. 

The "Digital Cockpit Pro" of the versions with the Performance Package has been expanded to include a new acceleration sensor and a GPS lap timer. When it comes to the steering wheel, however, VW is taking a step backwards and is not installing the old product with the much-loved physical buttons demanded by customers as in the other versions, but is instead retaining the touch control buttons.

The reason is because there has simply never been a mechanical multifunction steering wheel with an "R button", and a completely new development probably fell victim to the red pencil. This means that the buttons will continue to be touched instead of pressed.

VW Golf R (2024)

VW Golf R (2024)

VW Golf R (2024)

VW Golf R (2024)

VW Golf R Estate (2024)

VW Golf R Estate (2024)

Exact prices have not yet been communicated. However, we have learnt that the new Golf R is to be offered at a lower price than before (previously around £45,490) despite its increased performance, DCC as standard and the improvements. If that's not good news!