Drag Race: 2022 VW Golf R vs V8 Volvo Amazon

Let’s cap off the weekend with another crazy drag race from the crew at Hoonigan. We have featured some unbelievable drag races in the past, but this time the opponents couldn’t be more different from each other. We realize that we say that in nearly every drag racing article, but we really mean it this time! This match-up features a car so new that it wasn’t even available when the race was filmed, and a classic car that offers up more than meets the eye.

Let’s take a closer look at the competitors.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R Mk 8

2022 Volkswagen Golf R Mk 8 in blue drifting away from the camera. A car similar to this is featured in the drag race video in this article
2022 Volkswagen Golf R | Volkswagen America

In the middle of the Venn diagram, between people who love European cars and people who are obsessed with hot hatches lives the Volkswagen Golf. For decades the Golf has been the platform of choice for enthusiasts looking for a sport compact car with respectable performance and style.

Like recent generations, the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R comes equipped with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with an iron block. That engine makes 315 horsepower, which is a touch more than the FK8 model Honda Civic Type R.

Horsepower goes to all four wheels, but the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R has a “drift mode” that allows the driver to send 100% of the torque to the rear wheels. The Hoonigan crew was surprised to see the new Golf R in their presence as, at the time of filming, the car was not yet available in the United States.

However, Sean Maynard, the “Chief Enthusiast Officier” at Volkswagen America, pulled some strings and brought the European-spec Golf R to the Hoonigan crew for the drag race. How will the Golf R measure up against its opponent?

1962 Volvo Amazon

1962 Volvo Amazon with a V8 swap under the hood.
1962 Volvo Amazon with V8 swap | Hoonigan YouTube channel

If you’re an avid MotorBiscuit reader, then this car might look familiar to you. We previously covered this Volvo Amazon when the Hoonigan crew produced an entire feature video about it. Shant, the owner, runs a body shop and is an avid wrencher and drag racer.

Shant acquired this 1962 Volvo Amazon in 2017 when he was looking for a unique project car. When Shant came across the Amazon in a craigslist ad, he was so taken by its classic design that he bought the car without prior knowledge.

The Volvo Amazon already had a few modifications when Shant took delivery of it. Including the paint job and louvers on the hood, which were both applied in 1987. From there, Shant performed some minor exterior modifications, including changing out the bumpers and adding a set of OEM wheels from a Tesla Model 3.

However, the most significant modification Shant performed was drop-in a lightweight GM LS-series 420 horsepower V8 engine. To put the power down, Shant mated the V8 to a T10 4-speed transmission.

The entire package weighs about 2,500 pounds with no driver. That makes the Amazon lighter and more powerful than the Golf R Mk 8. Can it efficiently put its power down to beat the Golf R in a drag race?

Drag race: 2022 Volkswagen Golf R vs. 1962 Volvo Amazon

The Volvo Amazon has big power and low weight, but the Golf R has all-wheel drive at its disposal. Will the modified classic take the win? Or will the Golf’s modern tech and drivetrain give it the edge in this drag race? We won’t spoil it, but things do not go the way you might think they will. Check it out, and thank us later!

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