VW Golf 8 R '20 Years' is the fastest R to lap the 'Ring
In May this year, Volkswagen launched the Golf 8 R 20 Years to celebrate two decades since the Golf R32 graced the hot-hatch fold.
While the Golf 8 R 20 Years remains a forbidden fruit to us South Africans, it recently made headlines overseas by being crowned the fastest Volkswagen R model ever to blister around the Nurburgring with R development driver Benjamin Leuchter at the helm.
It raced around the 20.8 km iconic track in 7:47.31 minutes, making it a significant four seconds quicker than the standard Golf 8 R and 1.5 seconds quicker than the Mercedes-AMG A45 S. With that being said, it's now it's the fastest AWD hot-hatch to ever go around the 'Ring'.
Unlike the standard Golf 8 R, the 20 Years edition packs a modified 2.0-litre 4-cylinder TSI petrol engine that spews 245 kW and 420 Nm of torque. By comparison, that's 10 kW and 20 Nm more than the SA-bound regular 8 R.
With all the power upgrades, it completes the 0 to 100 km/h from a standstill in 4.6 seconds before maxing out at 270 km/h. The transmission comes courtesy of an enhanced 7-speed DSG that drives all four wheels via the brand's 4Motion system.
It's not just the performance that's been fiddled with. The Golf 8 R 20 Years edition is kitted with extensive standard equipment, including the R-Performance package, Driving Dynamics Manager, and R-Performance Torque Vectoring.
For driving around the Nordschleife, Leuchter made use of the 'Special' driving mode developed for the Green Hell. According to VW, it sets up the car to meet the unique requirements of driving around the Nurburgring by adjusting the shock absorbers.
As it stands, it's not likely that South Africa will be receiving the limited-edition 20 Years variant; instead, we are only getting the standard 8 R in 2023.