2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R named Forbes Wheels Sports Car of the Year


All-new Mk8 Golf models deliver the most dynamic driving experiences from the hot hatches yet, with more horsepower and new vehicle dynamics settings


Herndon, VA -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. is proud to announce that Forbes Wheels has named the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R Sports Car of the Year.

"A genuine sports car triggers the lizard brain and nurtures a highly focused and instinctual conversion between driver and machine. In short, it makes driving fun and engaging, no matter the price," writes Andrew Wendler, Assistant Editor Forbes Wheels. "By that measure, the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R stand shoulder to shoulder with sports cars of all stripes regardless of price."

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"We're honored to have these models named Sports Car of the Year against stiff competition," said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America. "The previous Golf GTI and Golf R models were widely regarded as the best hot hatches you could buy, but the Mark 8 versions up the ante with more performance, better handling, more standard equipment and improved tech features compared to prior generations, yet minimal price increases."

The 2022 Forbes Wheels Car of the Year nominees and winners were selected by a panel composed of four Forbes Wheels editors and eight contributors. Each of the seven Car of the Year categories--Crossovers, SUVs, Sedans, Pickups, Performance Cars, Minivans, Electrified--considers vehicles of varying sizes within each segment as well as mainstream and luxury offerings. The winner in each category rises above its peers for exhibiting outstanding attributes in performance, efficiency, safety, infotainment, comfort, cargo space and style. Vehicles eligible for nomination include any car or truck, new or existing, available for testing and in production during 2021 or early 2022.

The model year 2022 GTI introduces a plethora of interior and handling upgrades for the eighth generation of the original hot hatch, and has a starting MSRP of $29,545 for the S model with manual transmission. The fifth iteration of Volkswagen's performance halo, the 2022 Golf R offers new performance-oriented content, premium features and further differentiation from the GTI, with a starting MSRP of $43,645 with manual transmission. Destination for all Golf GTI models is $995.

With an entirely new electronic architecture, the Mk8 models boast a digitally-networked world of displays and controls, enabling the driver to customize the look and technology of their vehicle more intuitively, and in greater detail, than ever before. At the same time, drivers have greater control of handling characteristics. The new vehicle dynamics system makes its debut in Mk8 Golf family, controlling the XDS® electronic differential lock, the VAQ electronically-controlled, torque-sensing, limited-slip differential, and also the lateral dynamics of the optional DCC® adaptive damping system.

Both cars are also more powerful than ever before. They both utilize the latest iteration of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection TSI® engine, which can be paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic. The GTI produces 241 horsepower--up 13 from the Mk7--and 273 lb-ft of torque. The Golf R now makes 315 horsepower--27 more than the previous generation--and 295 lb-ft of torque with the DSG transmission, or 280 lb-ft with the manual.

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