America doesn’t get all these hot hatchbacks, but it will have the new Golf 8 R for the 2022 model year. And we thought it would be interesting to see how fast it is compared to rivals such as the Audi S3 Sportback, the BMW M135i, and the Mercedes-AMG A35.
To be fair, you can get these vehicles with sedan bodies. We’re talking about the 4-door A35 and S3, as well as the M235i. But they’re relative newcomers to this segment, whereas the Golf R traces its AWD performance roots to the R32.Usually, Volkswagen isn’t very competitive when it comes to performance cars and is happy to mix everyday usability with decent power, as with the GTI. But for some reason, the new Golf R is a firecracker. Before we talk about the numbers in the drag race or the specs, we’ll point out from the very end of the Carwow video: 0 to 60 mph in 3.94 seconds (timed).
Wow! Something tells me this might keep up with an RS3 from a few years back. In any case, the four hatchbacks in this drag race are so similar you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re the same. In fact, the VW and Audi use the same platform. Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines deliver a little over 300 hp to all four wheels.
Small differences exist, though. The BMW is the only one to use a conventional automatic, and while the VW has around 10-15 hp more than its competitors, the M135i gets extra torque, at least on paper. However, we’ve already seen one drag race featuring the 2022 Golf R and suspect it’s making more like 350 hp.
The funny thing is that the Golf R in this race also costs more. Since when does Audi make cheaper cars than Volkswagen? Anyway, Carwow filmed not only the drag race which the Golf R easily won but also some rolling races where it struggles a bit. So we’d still consider buying one of those premium hatchbacks, especially when they look so sharp.