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Mk8 Golf GTI and Golf R: Forbes Sports Car Of The Year

What makes a sports car? To some, it has to be a highly specialized machine that lives on a track. But to some, a remixed version of a typical grocery getter is deserving of that moniker. The official definition of a sports car is a low small usually 2-passenger automobile designed for quick response, easy maneuverability, and high-speed driving. The 2022 VW Golf GTI and Golf R definitely fit 4 of those 5. Bonus points for getting more passengers or handling a trip to Ikea, but that’s my personal opinion. 

Forbes Wheels has named the MK8 GTI and Golf R the Sports car of the year. It is definitely punching above its weight class to many, especially when it stands amongst others such as the Porsche Cayman or Boxster, Audi S3, and many others. There is a reason its lineage is often tied to the term “hot hatch.”

Under the Hood

Both cars are seeing more power than the previous iteration. The EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection TSI motor returns with 2 flavors of transmission to choose from. On one hand you have the standard six-speed manual transmission, while on the other you can opt to go for the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic. Either way you are looking at 241 horsepower for the GTI, which is up about 13 from the Mk7, and 273 lb-ft of torque at the front wheels. If you are feeling even more spicy, you can choose the Golf R, which now boasts 315 horsepower, which is 27 horsepower more than its predecessor, as well as 295 lb-ft of torque with the DSG, or 280 lb-ft with all-wheel drive.

Great Price, Great Style

Another great thing, which is usually never mentioned when referring to sports cars, is the price. Most people generally have a certain figure in mind when referring to a sports car. MSRP for the GTI starts at $29,545 for the base S model, to $37,995 for the Autobahn. The Golf R starts at $43,645 for the manual, while the automatic will set you back about $44,445. 


At the end of the day, let’s face it. You get an appealing looking European style car, that looks fitting parked outside of an expensive banquet hall, getting groceries in style, or ripping up the tarmac on track day. Either way you put it, these cars are fun and there is a reason they have such a beloved following.


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