The special-edition hot hatch looks cool thanks to different wheels and other visual tweaks, but sadly the U.S. version doesn't get the power bump that Europeans enjoy.
- VW has released U.S. details for the 2023 Golf R’s 20th Anniversary Edition model.
- Unlike the Europe-market version, it doesn’t get a power bump.
- The $650 upgrade includes visual changes including black wheels, special badging, and other trim add-ons.
Volkswagen is celebrating the 20th birthday of R-badged Golf hot hatchbacks, but the special-edition model we’re getting in the U.S. isn’t quite as cool as the version sold in Europe. While the Golf R 20 Years overseas gets a 14-horsepower bump for its turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, Americans will instead get the 2023 Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition with the same 315 horsepower as other versions of the Golf R.
To be fair, the anniversary model only costs $650 more than the standard model, starting at $46,035 with the six-speed manual and $46,835 with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. (It’s also worth noting that the Europe-market 20 Years car doesn’t offer a manual at all.) For that small sum, you get a whole host of visual changes, including 20th anniversary badging for the B-pillars, blue “R” logos inside and out, and special puddle lights that project a “20R” graphic on the ground. The interior receives carbon-fiber trim, and black 19-inch wheels are standard.
The 20th Anniversary model is available in blue, black, or white. If you choose white or black, the mirror caps are finished in blue. If you choose blue, the mirrors are black. The panoramic sunroof that’s standard on the Golf R is deleted for the special-edition car, which VW says saves weight.
Around 1800 units of the 20th Anniversary Edition will be offered in the U.S., and they’ll arrive at dealerships later this fall.