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2025 Volkswagen Golf R Updated Where It Matters: Under the Hood

by | June 26, 2024

Patience, patience. If you live in the U.S. you’ll have to wait for the updated 2025 Volkswagen Golf R. Buyers in Europe can already place orders, however, and the initial introduction is impressive. While there are the usual mid-cycle design tweaks, the big news is a roughly 5% increase in power that will make the hot hatch the fastest VW-branded model ever once it reaches the States next year.


2025 Volkswagen Golf R - Black Edition

The 2025 Volkswagen Golf R Black Edition.

When it comes to the hot hatch segment, fans and owners battle it out both at the stoplight and online. But those whose desires take them to Volkswagen showrooms will soon have more reasons to brag.

The German automaker has just released some critical information about the 2025 Volkswagen Golf R and the big news is that it delivers about 5% more power, jumping to 328 ponies. While it’s not a huge gain, it will be enough to earn the hatchback honors as the fastest model ever sold by the “people’s car” brand, with a factory-estimated 0-60 launch time of 4.6 seconds. (There is an asterisk here which I’ll return to shortly.)

There’s also a quirky new “Start” mode which will put all those kids mounting “fart cans” to their street rods to shame.

What’s new

The 2025 Golf R will feature the same basic design tweaks that made their appearance on lesser GTI models.

Okay, let’s get the more basic stuff out of the way…and let you build up a little anticipation.

As you’d expect, the 2025 Golf R features the same design tweaks that more plebian versions of the hatchback got for the 2024 model year. Outside, that includes new wheels, a quad exhaust, tweaked IQ.Light LED matrix head and taillights, a revised front bumper with integrated air curtains, and other changes.

A new “Black Edition” will, obviously, go with black paint, black exhaust tips, black brake calipers, blacked badges, R logos, and other details. There’ll also be a new 19-inch wheel design with beefier tires.

Inside, Volkswagen has updated Golf’s optional Digital Cockpit Pro and, for the R model, added a G-meter, lap timer, and other functions to let you analyze how you’re handling on track. It’s part of the optional Performance Pack, along with a bigger rear roof spoiler.


The Golf R continues to get its muscle from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine but power is up to 328 hp.

Okay, we’ve waited long enough. Let’s get to the good stuff.

The 2025 Volkswagen Golf R retains the 2.0-liter turbo-four from the outgoing model. But it gets some subtle revisions that, VW reveals, bump output from 315 to 328 hp. Torque remains 310 pound-feet.

That should enable you to launch from 0-60 in about 4.6 seconds, the automaker claims, on the way to a top speed of 167 mph. To enhance performance, you can switch to “Race” mode to keep the engine running at higher RPMs.

More VW News

Sounding off

The interior continues to be a balanced mixture of design and luxury but VW has made revisions to the Digital Cockpit Pro system.

To add to the thrills, VW said buyers can opt for “a richer sounding R Performance Akrapovič titanium exhaust system” as an upgrade.”

If you’d like to make a joyous noise right from the start, the 2025 Golf R adds another decidedly quirky feature.

Press the “Start” button – but without your foot on the brake. As with most other vehicles, that appears to do nothing. But if you wait for about 2 seconds and then press “Start” again, this time with your foot on the brake, the engine fires up and immediately revs to 2,500 RPMs.


Volkswagen is taking orders in Europe, but U.S. buyers will have to wait a while to have their chance to order one.

VW is now taking orders – in Europe – for the 2025 Golf R. We’ll have to wait until next year to see the hot hatch reach American markets. The automaker hasn’t said if – or when– it will begin taking orders in the States.

The good news is that the 2025 update transforms the Golf R into the fastest Volkswagen-branded model ever to reach the U.S. (In Europe, however, it will share that title with the Arteon R Shooting Brake which, our friends at Motor Trend point out, can also reach 167 mph.

We don’t get the Arteon, unfortunately. Nor will Americans have the opportunity to purchase the planned wagon version of the Golf R coming to Europe.

Pricing for the 2025 Volkswagen Golf R won’t be announced until closer to the U.S. launch next year. The current 2024 model has a base MSRP of $46,890. Notably, tracking service TrueCar warns that the typical buyers have been shelling out more than $48,000 in recent weeks, about 2.6% above sticker.


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