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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New luxury car

BMW sends its V12 engine off in style

BMW will build its final V12 engine this June.

BMW

Most automakers are focused on building EVs and extracting the best fuel economy from gas engines possible, so it’s not surprising to hear that BMW is pulling the plug on one of its biggest and most iconic engines. In June 2022, BMW will build its very last V12 engine for use in a super-limited-production special edition 7 Series model. The ultra-rare cars will carry a starting price of $200,995.

BMW 760i xDrive The last V12 will power a very special (and very expensive) 7 Series car.BMW

Only twelve lucky customers will have the option to nab a V12-powered BMW, which will be called the M760i xDrive. Displacing 6.6 liters, the twin-turbocharged beast produces a massive 601 horsepower. An eight-speed sport automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. BMW says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty 7 Series car to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds.

The final-run cars will feature little more than a special “V12” badge at the rear to differentiate them from standard 7 Series models. Inside, the car features a serialized plaque with the car’s production number out of the 12 units planned. The engine itself features a nameplate with “The Final V12.”

Beyond the badges, BMW’s 12-cylinder last-hurrah will come standard with 20-inch M double-spoke wheels, a choice of any available BMW full Merino leather color, M Sport brakes with black or blue calipers, a panoramic LED roof, remote control parking, a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system, and adaptive LED headlights.

BMW 760i xDrive Only 12 of the cars will be built, with a starting price of more than $200,000.BMW

Though it hasn’t been BMW’s most popular engine over the years, the V12 has been a part of the automaker’s catalog for 35 years. The first 12-cylinder engine showed up in 1987, producing 295 horsepower in the original 750iL sedan.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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