Update: apparently Volkswagen hasn’t approved the R400 for production quite yet.
The centerpiece of Volkswagen’s display at the Beijing Motor Show earlier this year was the unhinged Golf R400 concept. Many passed the R400 off as typical manufacturer auto show drivel, but according to a report from Car Magazine, VW execs have now given the R400 the green light for production.
When it hits showrooms, the Golf R400 will use a high performance version of VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing between 400 and 414 horsepower. That’s a good chunk more than the 290 horsepower offered up by the current Golf R and nearly double that of the 210 horsepower in the Golf GTI. There’s no word on transmission options, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see both a six- or seven-speed DSG as well as a six-speed manual, coupled with the Haldex AWD system from the Golf R.
From a visual standpoint, we expect the production R400 to remain true in appearance to the concept. A sportier front fascia with a small lip spoiler, side rocker panel extensions, a hatch-mounted spoiler and a rear diffuser all seem like possibilities, along with model-exclusive wheels wrapped in high performance tires. We also wouldn’t mind seeing the concept’s unique highlighter-green accents carried over to the production model, either.
All this sounds awfully tempting, however interested U.S. buyers will likely never even get the chance to drive a Golf R400. Given that the Golf GTI and R are relatively low-volume models in the U.S. of A., the R400 would be an especially tough sell. In fact, the price tag will also likely exceed $40,000, which is all it would take to change most interested American consumer’s minds for good. And so while North American consumers are used to not receiving most of Europe’s hot hatchback offerings, that isn’t stopping us from crossing our fingers and toes in hopes of VW bringing the R400 across the Atlantic.