2025 Volkswagen Mk8.5 Golf R hatch, Golf R Variant estate – 333 PS/420 Nm 2.0T AWD, 270 km/h top speed

2025 Volkswagen Mk8.5 Golf R hatch, Golf R Variant estate – 333 PS/420 Nm 2.0T AWD, 270 km/h top speed

The Mk8 Volkswagen Golf R has been updated for the 2025 model year, shortly after the Malaysian market received the pre-facelift model last month. In updated ‘Mk8.5’ guise, the Golf R range brings visual and technical updates, with both five-door hatchback and Variant estate bodystyles making their debut at the same time, along with a Black Edition for the former.

Powertrain for the Golf R is the 2.0 litre turbocharged inline-four cylinder petrol engine that now outputs 333 PS and 420 Nm of torque, representing increases of 13 PS and 20 Nm over the pre-facelift model. This also makes the Mk8.5 Golf R the most powerful iteration of the Golf produced, according to Volkswagen.

Driveline specification carries on as before, with the engine mated to a DSG seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and 4Motion all-wheel-drive. Specified thus, the Mk8.5 Golf R does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.6 seconds, or 0.2 second quicker than the outgoing model. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h, while an optional R-Performance package increases this to 270 km/h for both the hatchback and Variant estate.

2025 Volkswagen Golf R Variant and Golf R Black Edition

The Mk8.5 facelift for the Golf R brings R-Performance Torque Vectoring to the 4Motion AWD driveline, which aims to improve stability and agility through distributing drive between each rear wheel when cornering.

The optional R-Performance package that brings the aforementioned higher top speed also features two additional driving modes; Drift which aims to do as its name suggests, and Special, which is set up for more challenging road conditions such as on the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Adaptive chassis control (DCC) features as standard in the Mk8.5 Golf R, where the vehicle’s running gear are optimised by the Vehicle Dynamics Manager.

Externally, the 2025 Golf R range gets the IQ.Light Matrix LED headlamps as on regular and GTI variants of the Golf Mk8.5, while the front bumper features more aggressive styling and larger air intakes. Rolling stock for the Mk8.5 Golf R is a set of 19-inch ‘Warmenau’ forged alloy wheels which weight 8 kg per unit and offer efficient brake cooling, which is beneficial for track driving, says Volkswagen.

All versions of the Mk8.5 Golf R get the 10.2-inch Digital Cockpit Pro instrumentation, along with the 12.9-inch floating infotainment display that grants access to the IDA voice-activated assistant and ChatGPT. Driver instrumentation brings an enhanced Sport Skin that features a central, rounded rpm display in an R-specific design, along with an R-View that brings a horizontal rpm display.

The Mk8.5 Golf R range continues to get driver and front passenger sports seats with integrated head restraints, with optional black Nappa leather upholstery and carbon-look trim with contrasting blue elements, and ‘R’ badging in the backrests. Also optional are carbon-fibre interior trim components.

Offered in the European market is the Golf R Black Edition, which, as its name suggests, brings a blacked-out look for the all-wheel-drive hatchback. Featured here are darkened VW badges and R logos, black ‘R’ brake calipers with darkened logos, 19-inch ‘Estoril’ alloy wheels in black, and black exhaust pipe outlets. The IQ.Light LED matrix headlamps also receive the darkened look, and the Black Edition also gets the R-Performance pack as standard.

In Europe, the 2025 Volkswagen Mk8.5 Golf starts from 53,795 euros (RM271,605), while the Golf R Variant starts from 55,065 euros (RM278,018); the Golf R Black Edition starts from 58,440 euros (RM295,058).

2025 Volkswagen Golf R

2025 Volkswagen Golf R Black Edition

2025 Volkswagen Golf R Variant

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.




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