Deep dive: 2022 VW GTI's Vehicle Dynamics Manager aims to make the hot hatch sharper
Among the many updates to the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI is a new Vehicle Dynamics Manager, which aims to improve driving dynamics without compromising everyday usability, VW said in a press release explaining the system.
The Vehicle Dynamics Manager oversees settings for the stability control, electronic limited-slip differential (LSD), and optional DCC adaptive dampers. It makes adjustments to those systems based on driving conditions and the selected drive mode to optimize the hot hatch's handling.
The standard electronic LSD was chosen over a traditional mechanical unit because it avoids "steering corruption," VW said. The amount of lockup can also be varied in concert with the stability control and other systems, with greater lockup in Sport mode.
Similarly, the stability control gets a few different settings. The intervention threshold can be raised in Sport mode, and VW also offers the option to turn off stability control completely.
The optional DCC adaptive dampers can be adjusted by the Vehicle Dynamics Manager at all four corners in fractions of a second, according to VW. In addition to Comfort, Sport, and Eco modes, VW also includes an Individual mode with greater adjustability.
The standard variable-ratio steering gets new software. The system is set up to provide more assistance at low speeds, for maneuvering in parking lots, with a sharper response at higher speeds on twisty roads. With 18-inch wheels, the steering takes 2.1 turns lock-to-lock.
Updates were made to the underlying hardware of the 2022 GTI's chassis as well. The strut-type front suspension has reconfigured wishbone bearings and revised damping hydraulics, along with changes to the springs and buffer stops.
At the rear, the multilink suspension gets new wheel mounts, wishbone bearings, and springs, plus reconfigured auxiliary springs. That allowed engineers to increase the front and rear spring rates by 5% and 15% over the seventh-generation GTI.
The front-wheel drive GTI is powered by the EA888 evo4 2.0-liter turbo-4, making 242 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque (increases of 14 hp and 15 lb-ft over the outgoing engine). Transmission choices include a 6-speed manual and 7-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox.
The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI is expected to go on sale in the U.S. later this year. The Golf R will return as well, but the standard Golf has been dropped from VW's U.S. lineup, leaving just the two hot hatches.