Limited to 333 units globally, the Volkswagen Golf R 333 builds on the regular-production model with a more powerful engine, a racing-derived exhaust system, and several specific model-styling cues. You’ll need to move to Germany to add one to your collection, however.
At the heart of the 333 lies a familiar 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine turbocharged to 333 pferdestärke, which is the German way of measuring horsepower. For the rest of us, that figure represents 329 horsepower, which is the same output offered by the one-year-only Golf R 20 Years unveiled in 2022. For context, the standard Golf R sold on our shores uses a 315-horsepower version of the turbo-four. The torque output stays flat at 310 pound-feet, and the engine exhales through an edition-specific Akrapovič exhaust system with titanium mufflers.
Volkswagen notes that its engineers made other changes to improve the powertrain’s response; the turbocharger is notably pre-loaded to keep turbo lag at bay. The end result is a 0-to-62-mph time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed that increases to nearly 170 mph. However, the Golf R isn’t — and never has been — merely about straight-line speed, and the R-Performance torque vectoring system that juggles the engine’s output between the front and rear wheels and the left and right wheels gives the 333 the agile handling brand enthusiasts expect.
Lime Yellow Metallic paint ensures the 333 is seen as well as heard, though other colors are available, and black exterior accents as well as a “333” decal on each rear door add a finishing touch to the look. Black-painted 19-inch wheels with semi-slick tires come standard.
This isn’t a stripped-out track monster. The relatively long list of features includes leather upholstery, sport seats for the front passengers, electronic driving aids, and a 480-watt Harman Kardon sound system. The serial number located on the passenger’s side of the dashboard reminds passengers that they’re not riding in a standard Golf R, and it makes the 333 the first Volkswagen R model with numbered plate.
Volkswagen dealers across Germany will begin taking orders for the Golf R 333 on June 2, 2023, and deliveries will start in October. Just 333 units will be built, and a company spokesperson confirmed to Autoblog that none will be sent to the United States. Volkswagen notes that it’s launching the hot-rodded Golf “as a potential collector’s item,” and it priced the model accordingly at €76,410 (that’s around $81,500 at the current conversion rate). Enthusiasts who choose to pick up their car in Wolfsburg will be able to participate in a special delivery event.