The team at Volkswagen is celebrating the Golf R’s 20th anniversary by setting a new fastest “Volkswagen R” lap time around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with development driver Benjamin Leuchter at the wheels of the special edition Volkswagen R ’20 Years‘.
Clocking in a time of 7:47.31, the ’20 Years’ Golf R is roughly four seconds faster than the standard Golf R, but curiously, still (marginally) behind the 2016 Golf GTI Clubsport S – a model that was developed specifically to tackle the Green Hell.
Still, it’s a hell of an achievement, especially for a car that you can drive to the grocery store after your track excursions, and a large part of it comes from the uprated powertrain underneath its bonnet.
Powering the Golf R ”20 Years” is a tuned version of the 2.0-litre turbo engine from the ‘normal’ Golf R that now make 333 hp and 420 Nm. Besides enhanced engine tuning that boosts power by 13 hp, Volkswagen R says the anniversary edition also gets a preloaded turbocharger and a continuously open throttle valve.
Also modified is the seven-speed transmission. VW says the shift characteristics have been modified to create more intensive feedback. These enhancements to the powertrain result in a 4.6 second 0-100 km/h time, or 0.1 seconds faster than the non-anniversary version.
As for handling, the Volkswagen Golf R “20 Years” is equipped with an R-Performance package that comprises a Driving Dynamics Manager and R-Performance torque vectoring. The special-edition model also comes with additional “Special” and “Drift” modes on top of the usual “Comfort”, “Sport”, and “Race” modes.
Specially developed for the Nürburgring, the aptly named “Special” mode includes adjusting the shock absorbers to a more soft and comfortable setting due to the enormous loads at the maximum performance level when driving on such tracks. The “Drift” mode is self-explanatory.
There is also an “Individual” mode of the Driving Dynamics Manager, making it possible to manually adjust all parameters, such as R-Performance Torque Vectoring or the engine sound, and adapt them in line with personal preferences.
Volkswagen R development driver, Benjamin Leuchter said, “With this car, I can drive here on the Nürburgring and the next stop is then the baker’s or the DIY store. The vehicle is really an all-rounder that can do everything.”
It has to be noted, however, that the lap time is made around the shorter 20.6 km loop of the Nürburgring Nordschleife that ignores the 200 metres in between the T13 grandstand, instead of the longer 20.8 km lap that’s now used for official timekeeping.
You’ll need to be quick if you want the keys to the special edition Volkswagen Golf R “20 Years” as the production period is limited to approximately one year only. Who knows, maybe you too could clock 7 minutes and 47 seconds on the Green Hell.