The MK8 Golf R had a lot of pressure on its shoulders to try and improve on the Mk7.5, which is by far one of the most popular cars we supply performance parts for and that we work on. The Mk7 was all things to all men; incredibly reliable, fantastic performance even in awful weather thanks to its 4wd and if you went for the estate, it is more practical than most cars too.
The Mk8 also increased in price and is now more expensive than the equivalent S3 – something that hasn’t happened in the Golf lifecycle, in order to achieve this feat, Volkswagen improved the R in a couple of different ways;
- Upped power to 320ps
- Overhauled the interior to create a truly high-end experience.
- Most excitingly, adding the option of a performance pack which included; wider tyres, bigger brakes and a downforce that’s not just for aesthetics – it actually provides downforce…
- The highlight of the performance pack is the addition of an optional “drift mode” that’s right your new 4wd hot hatch can DRIFT round corners.
The good news is that because there wasn’t much of a drastic internal change when it comes to power plant, that a lot of the recommended modifications for the Mk7 and 7.5 will benefit the Mk8, the same can be said for the Mk8 Golf GTI a lot of what we recommend for the R will also make your GTI much better.
One of the best modifications you can do to any car to drastically improve it’s drivability, the MK8 Golf R comes with 316 bhp stock but with a remap we’re expecting bhp to increase to 360+. Unfortunately at the moment the Only Revo remap is still in research and development to ensure it’s reliable and safe to use but we’ll update this as soon as it’s released.
If you’re not looking to make a permanent change to your vehicle’s software, or you’re not willing to wait until the Revo remap is available then a Burger Motorsport JB4 tuning box could be the solution for you. The JB4 is a plug&play solution allowing you to extract additional performance from your vehicle just by plugging it in within the engine bay. When you sell your Golf R you can just remove it before sale.
- Burger Motorsports JB4 EA888 Gen4 for Mk8 Golf R, Audi S3 8Y, Cupra Leon/Formentor Tuning Box (Group 18) £542.85
- Racingline Power Control Module (PCM) EA888 Gen.4 Engines £747.55
Induction Kits & Cooling
An induction kit is one of the first mods our clients that own an MQB car tend to install, this is because its quite a cost-effective modification and it is something that someone who is a bit handy can install on their car, it’ll give you better throttle response and an increased intake sound. If you’re going for stage two or further then a performance intake is absolutely required as the OEM intake is too restrictive.
- Ramair Jetstream Induction Kit Volkswagen Golf MK7/MK8 2.0 GTi/R £229.19
- Eventuri Audi S3 (8Y) & VW Golf R (MK8) (2020+) Carbon Fibre Air Intake £1,399.20
- MST Performance VW Golf R MK8 EA888 Gen4 Silicone Induction Hose - MST-VW-MK802H £304.70
- Revo Intercooler Kit MQB EVO 1.8/2.0 TSI EA888 Gen.4 Engines £718.80 – £846.60
If you’ve not quite got the budget for a full induction kit, then we recommend replacing the stock panel filter with an aftermarket one that will allow greater airflow.
- VAGSport High Flow Performance Panel Filter MQB 2.0 TSI Engines - VS-PF427 £54.99
- Ramair Performance Twin Layer Foam Panel Filter - Audi, Seat & VW – MK7/S3/Cupra MQB - RPF-3129 £37.00
- Racingline Performance Panel Air Filter for MQB Golf Mk7 R/GTI, S3/TTS, Octavia Mk3, Leon Cupra Mk3 - VWR11G701 £78.62
- Revo PROFILTER Flat Panel - 1.8/2.0 MQB (WB-427) - RV582M700101 £72.00
The problem with forced induction cars is that they don’t always feel particularly responsive while you’re waiting for them to come on boost. Installing a pedal box can significantly improve responsiveness. If you go for the IOPedal it is also essentially an immobiliser too.
Aftermarket exhausts are great, every time you start your car with a performance exhaust on you’ll smile. It’ll sound better than stock but it’s so much more than that, it’s less restrictive than the stock exhaust so you’ll get better performance, and they also tend to be lighter too!
- Remus Volkswagen Golf Mk8 R 2.0TSI (2020+) Racing Cat-back Exhaust System (Louder) £1,639.28 – £2,312.15
- Remus Volkswagen Golf Mk8 R 2.0TSI (2020+) Cat-back Exhaust System £1,526.78 – £2,199.65
- Milltek Volkswagen Mk8 Golf R Large Bore Performance Downpipe (2021+) £956.88 – £1,276.80
The Mk8 Golf R’s new styling is amazing but unfortunately because of the flared arches the wheels are set quite far into the wheel arch and it just doesn’t look right.
Add a spacer to bring it flush to the body, it’ll significantly improve the aesthetic of the car, just be careful not to curb it.
Suspension, Handling & Lowering Springs
Another very cost-effective mod, installing lowering springs will not only improve the stance of your Golf, but it will also help it to stay flat in the corners. You can install these yourself, just be careful when you’re compressing the springs.
- Eibach VW Mk8 Golf 'R' Sportline Lowering Springs - E20-85-051-06-22 £299.49
- Racingline Sport Lowering Springs VW Golf Mk8 R (Hatch) - VWR31G80R £257.99
- SuperPro Roll Control Anti-Roll Bar Kit - Golf Mk7 & Mk8, A3/TT/Leon Mk3 - RC0033RZ-22KIT £379.72
- Eibach VW Golf Mk8 'R' Pro-Street-S Coilover Kit (Adjustable 25-45mm) £1,040.84 – £1,340.32
Big Brake Kit
If you’re going to track your golf R we would highly recommend upgrading the brakes, unless you opted for the performance pack, and even still consider it if you did as better brakes are not only safer, but they’ll give you better lap times too from being able to brake later and harder. You’ll also be able to enjoy more time on track because you’ll suffer less brake fade.
And if you’re looking for the best of the best then there’s even ceramics available…
- VBT AP Racing 6 Pot Front Brake Kit Upgrade for MQB Vehicles - BK0022-UPG £2,579.35
- Revo Golf Mk8 Platform Big Brake Kit - Mono 6 £2,862.00
- Racingline Stage 3 Monoblock Big Brake Kit – 355/380mm Rotors & 6 Pot Calipers £3,274.69 – £3,405.73
- Racingline Stage 3+ Carbon Ceramic Brake Kit 380mm/355mm £7,207.20
The only problem with the Golf R is that unless you’re in the know it looks quite similar to a GTD and GTI, and even in some instances a 1.4 to some people in the shop car park. If you’re looking to make yours really stand out from the crowd then consider installing a body kit, it’ll make your car really stand out, and you’ll be glad you did especially if you park next to another R.
- Maxton Design Street Pro Rear Diffuser for VW Golf R Mk8 (2020-) £149.00 – £226.80
- Maxton Design Front Splitter V.5 VW Golf R Mk8 (2020-) £159.00 – £209.00
- Maxton Design Side Skirts Diffusers V.1 VW Golf R Mk8 (2020-) £159.00 – £209.00
- Maxton Design Spoiler Cap V.2 VW Golf 8 R-Performance / GTI Clubsport (2020-) £119.00 – £144.00
- Maxton Design Front Splitter V.4 for VW Golf R Mk8 (2020-) £159.00 – £209.00
Some other Mk8 R mods to consider
The stock setup on the Golf R is highly restrictive and creates a lot of air turbulence, replacing the inlet pipe with a free-er flowing pipe that has smoother less turbulence creating interior will allow you to get more air forced into the engine generating more power.
- Racingline Turbo Inlet EA888 Gen.4 EVO Engines (300PS+ Continental Turbo Models) - VWR120010 £245.04
Wheels drastically change the look of a vehicle and if you ever swap your car you can take them with you, if you go for lightweight wheels it’ll reduce unsprung mass and there’s a rumour that’s good for performance.
As the MQB platform is our biggest seller, so we’ve got a lot more available mods than the above, so check out everything and plan your build in advance.
- Revo RF019 VAG Wheel 19x8.5j - 5x112 (57.1CB) - ET45 £346.80 – £1,435.20