2022 Volkswagen Golf R
Motor Trend|July 2021
Drifting a Volkswagen Golf is weird. Like, really weird. The Golf has long been a beacon of front-wheel drive—and FWD-based all-wheel-drive— excellence, but getting its rear to swing wide typically meant yanking a handbrake or getting hit by a dump truck.
Erik Johnson

The new 2022 VW Golf R, however, will happily do power-on tank slappers, drift in a circle, and sashay through a slalom. And it’s still a front-driver at its core. Huh?

Credit the new AWD setup, which cans its predecessor’s Haldex center differential for an electromechanical rear axle with clutch packs on the shafts to send up to 100 percent of rear-axle torque to the outside rear wheel. Also key is software activated by a fun button marked “Drift,” which commands the ESC and rear diff to allow lurid sideways action.

The trick differential also mitigates understeer and helps hold your intended line in corners. Hammering the R on a skidpad confirmed its mash-it-and-forget-it abilities, and you can apply huge gobs of power early when exiting corners with no ill effects.

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