When Volkswagen revealed the Golf R 400 concept at the Beijing Motor Show there was more than a hint of production readiness about it. Unlike the last hyper-Golf concept, the W12-650 from 2007.
So it came with little surprise to hear that it was going to make it into showrooms, confirmed by VW R&D Chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser and reported by Car & Driver. The list of countries it’s likely to appear in remains undecided. As does price and spec. And how many will be built.
But now there are rumours that the R 400 will have more power than the 400PS from which its name was derived. Just how much more is unknown, but even with the original 400PS the R 400 was quoted as clocking 60mph from a standstill in 3.9 seconds, thanks largely to the 4Motion all-wheel drive. That would have been the stuff of fantasy just a few years ago.
Quite what this means for the next version of the Audi RS3 remains to be seen. This usually wears the hot hatch crown in the Volkswagen group but now it faces some very stiff competition. Can Audi make the charismatic but ageing 5-pot 2.5-litre compete with this new EA888 2.0-litre? Or will the RS3 finally follow the herd and switch to the 4-pot and add a few more ponies? It would be a sad day if it did.