New Model News

2022 Volkswagen Golf R is the most powerful Golf to date and yes, it's coming to the U.S.

The Volkswagen Golf R is the sportiest Golf on the market.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R is the most powerful Golf VW has ever produced. It's being hailed as the sportiest of successors to the last-generation Golf, which has a small but passionate fanbase in the U.S.

The exterior treatment of the Golf R makes it as sporty-looking as the rest of its stablemates. It has a new front bumper with a motorsport-style splitter and R-specific air intake grilles with high-gloss black elements. At the top of the radiator grille, the Golf features a blue crossbar which lights up as an LED strip as soon as the engine starts and stretches all the way into the fenders to act as the daytime running lights. This similar design feature is available on the new ID.4 and Taos.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R The car is very similar to the rest of the Golf stable, but with a few sporty highlights that are sure to please enthusiasts.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

U.S. customers will have their Golf R come standard with a sunroof. Additional exterior design elements and equipment choices include 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, summer performance tires, unique side skirts, blue brake calipers adorned with an R logo on the front, and matte chrome exterior mirror caps that project the R logo onto the road when the doors are opened/closed.

The new Golf R can be configured in three different colors. Lapiz Blue Metallic is the signature color for the R, but it will also be available in Pure White or Deep Black Pearl Effect.

The halo car of the Golf family delivers 315 horsepower, a 27-horsepower boost over the outgoing model, and 310 pound-feet of torque up from 280). Each Golf R gets a turbocharged 1,984 cc four-cylinder engine hat is paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is available.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R Volkswagen has made the new Golf its most digitally advanced Golf to date.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

It comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD) and can get from zero to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds. The Golf R's top speed is 155 mph. Volkswagen's new AWD system features variable torque distribution for the rear axle, allowing for increased agility with the new Golf R. Electronic differential locks and an active damping system are networked to the AWD via a vehicle dynamics manager.

The interior of the Golf R comes standard with a 10-inch Digital Cockpit with welcome graphic. The driver and front passenger sit on top-of-the-range sport seats, with Nappa leather seating surfaces that feature carbon-look elements with blue accents in the side sections, as well as a blue R logo in the backrest. In front of the driver is a heated and multifunction leather sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, blue contrast stitching, and an R button for direct selection of various driving modes (Comfort, Sport, Race, Drift, Special and Individual).

The Drift and Special drive modes were honed during tuning sessions at the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R The VW "R" is prominently featured across the interior and exterior.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Additionally, there is carbon look dash panel décor; R-specific door trim, brushed stainless-steel pedal caps and driver footrest, and 30-color ambient lighting for the dash panel and doors that is synchronized with the display.

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R will go on sale in the U.S. in the latter part of 2021.

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Improved hot hatch

The 2022 VW Golf GTI gets new handling tech

Improvements to the GTI's handling and steering should make it even faster in the curves.

Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the most recognizable and popular cars the automaker sells. After a bumpy few years that ended with the standard Golf model being nixed from VW's U.S catalog, we're starting to see concrete details on the upcoming performance variants of the car, which will thankfully end up heading our way. The eighth-generation Golf GTI and Golf R will make landfall in the United States as 2022 models, and will both feature a load of new tech and refinements. VW just announced the changes that are being made to the GTI's handling and performance systems, and they are extensive, to say the least.


2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI VW is offering the 8th-gen Golf only in high-performance GTI and R configurations.Volkswagen


Volkswagen is giving the legendary hot hatch a host of improvements, which the automaker says will give the car more precise, stable handling at its limit. The GTI's front suspension has been reconfigured with new wishbone bearings and damping hydraulics. VW says that the car's springs and buffer stops have also been revised, which will give the font axle spring rate that is five percent higher than its predecessor. A new aluminum subframe is also in place, which will reduce weight by seven pounds over the previous car.

The eighth-generation Golf brought a new VW Vehicle Dynamics Manager system which will also benefit the upcoming GTI. The system integrates the car's electronic stability control with its electronic differentials, and in GTI models equipped with the optional DCC adaptive damping system, the system adjusts individual wheel damping up to 200 times per second. The differential itself will now come standard with all GTI models. It's an electronically-controlled torque-sensing limited-slip unit, which varies the levels of its intervention based on how the car is being driven and on how the other traction control functions are being used.


2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI The GTI's steering is now more responsive.Volkswagen


The GTI's steering system has also been revised to now include an enhanced progressive steering function that uses software to help turn the vehicle with less steering effort, depending on speed. Volkswagen says that the GTI's steering takes just 2.1 turns of the steering wheel to go from lock to lock when it's equipped with 18-inch wheels.

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The Nissan Pathfinder is just at home on the trial as it is on the road.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". The message is about making choices and, how the road taken made all the difference. Often in life and on the road, we have to make one choice. Take one road. No turning back. I thought of this poem on my recent test drive in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the hinterlands of Montana, when I could take two different roads—paved and dirt—and that made all the difference!

Nissan has redesigned and retooled its fifth-generation Pathfinder instilling greater latitude for buyers who want to travel both types of roads and expand their adventure footprint. After seven decades of off-road development, 35 years in the business of selling Pathfinders, and with more than 1.8 million sold in the U.S., this Japanese automaker has moved the needle with a ground-up revision of the previous-gen model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable off-roader.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The full-sized sport utility is available in four trims (S, SV, SL and Platinum) and two- and four-wheel drive versions; Nissan expects that nearly 60 percent of buyers will choose four-wheel drive. The Pathfinder is in a segment that has grown larger each year as more families want a vehicle for around-town, school and playdate runs and for weekend getaways with traction technology that allows travel in the backcountry and good towing capability. Direct competitors are the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.

A day-long drive of approximately 150 miles on tarmac and over a variety of dirt roads and tracks provided the opportunity to assess the Pathfinder's updates. A late-spring snowstorm added slickness to all the road surfaces in the region and allowed the Pathfinder to show off its traction capabilities at both slow and higher speeds and with lane change and emergency-braking maneuvers, when towing. I concentrated my evaluation on the augmented hardware and software designed to enhance the crossover's capabilities for backcountry travel and towing.

What I found most notable over every road surface was the comfortable ride and responsive handling that come from a collection of upgrades—and, in particular, as a result of the following: the gearing on the new nine-speed transmission, with paddle shifters for personal and more precise shifting for sport driving and slowing over rough terrain; the new terrain mode system that's engineered for different driving conditions; the four-wheel drive system that moves torque more quickly to avoid wheel slip; the improved suspension system; and new tires with a larger contact patch and more aggressive tread pattern, among other changes.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Pathfinder provided sure-footed motoring and comfort over uneven surfaces. Its 7.1 inches of ground clearance easily maneuvered over the small obstacles on the trail and hill descent control took the reigns without hesitation for steeper and longer downhills on traction-compromised surfaces.

I was also impressed with the Pathfinder's towing competence and appreciated the standard trailer sway control onboard all trims. It offered notably strong, mannered acceleration from a standing start and excellent straight-line braking without porpoising for either exercise.

The new 2022 Pathfinder brings off-road and towing attributes that are important to families who are seeking to spend time in the backcountry for days trips and longer and for overlanding in terrain that doesn't require a true off-road vehicle with a low range. It's will appeal to buyers who want don't want to have to choose only one road.

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