Volkswagen in Europe has detailed the optional “R Performance Package” for its new 235 kW Golf 8 R.
Interestingly, the new “drift” mode forms part of the optional pack, which means buyers will have to tick the extra-cost box to unlock the ability to easily send the all-paw hot hatch into oversteer.
In addition, specifying the R Performance Package sees the Golf R’s top speed raised from 250 km/h to 270 km/h. The kit furthermore includes a larger, more prominent rear spoiler (for “extra downforce on the rear axle”, says VW) and 19-inch “Estoril” alloy wheels (an inch larger than the standard items).
In fact, both the “drift” and “special” driving modes are effectively optional, while “comfort”, “sport”, “race” and “individual” settings ship standard. As a reminder, the Golf 8 R’s new 4Motion system incorporates rear-axle torque vectoring via a rear differential with two multiplate clutches.
In “drift” mode (for use “away from public roads”, according to the Wolfsburg-based firm), maximum torque is available on the wheel located on the outside of the bend, while the electronic stability control is automatically set to “sport”.
With “special” mode selected, meanwhile, all of the main drive system parameters are “configured” for the Nürburgring Nordschleife, resulting in a 17-second quicker time for the DSG model in “internal tests”.
In both modes, VW says the gearbox calibration has been “optimised” in order to keep the revs “consistently high”. In addition, for the “first time since the introduction of the DSG”, the transmission will remain in manual mode (in “drift” or “special” drive modes, that is) if the driver has selected this.
For the record, the halo Golf offers 235 kW and 420 N.m (the latter from 2 100 to 5 350 r/min) from its familiar EA888 turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, delivered to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. According to the Wolfsburg-based company, that’s enough for a sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 4,7 seconds.
The new Golf 8 R is expected to arrive in South Africa in either the final quarter of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022.