Volkswagen is hard at work prepping the MkVIII Golf, which should arrive sometime in the next year or so. That also means we'll have a fresh take on the GTI and the hot hatch Golf R. It seems, however, that VW is eager to turn the Golf R from a hot hatch into a scorching one.

And by scorching, we mean 400 horsepower.

According to AutoExpress, Volkswagen wants to push its own R brand to new heights. Currently, the Golf R competes with a hoard of hot hatchbacks. Ford cranked out the wonderful (albeit back-crushing) Focus RS, Audi is doing great things with its S and RS offerings, and Honda has a world beating pseudo hatch in the form of its mighty Civic Type R. The Golf R needs an update with respect to its power and performance.

“The R brand is going extreme,” VW sales boss Jürgen Stackmann told Auto Express. “The role of R is that it can go beyond the rational; nobody needs a compact car with 400bhp, but is there a place (for it?) Certainly, and that’s the turf of R.”

We agree.

The GTI is already getting an update of its own with the pending arrival of the GTI TCR

But what powertrain will deliver the required extreme needs of the upcoming 2020 Golf R? Volkswagen has played with 48-volt tech, which means a mild-hybrid boost could be deployed to aid power delivery and cornering performance. The exterior styling will also get an upgrade to highlight the more aggressive nature of the car.

AutoExpress snagged some exclusive photos of the 2020 Golf R. The car wears a sharper nose with more aggressive headlights. Out back, the quad exhaust setup is surrounded by a dash of carbon fiber trim. Interestingly, the daytime running lights mimic the design of the lighting found on the eGolf. Perhaps that's a nod to the potential for a bit of added electrification?

Either way, we're excited for the prospect of a 400-horsepower Golf. The Golf R has always been the more premium hot hatch thanks to its excellent cabin and overall refinement. Add in all of that horsepower and we could be looking at our future hot hatch king.