Last month, Volkswagen R division head Jost Capito said publicly the long-rumored Golf R with 400 horsepower was dead. Now, new information claims the spicier hot hatch is back on the table.
Autocar reported Friday that a Golf R Plus model based on the next-generation Golf has the backing of Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess. Previously, VW R head Capito told Top Gear that a Golf R with 400 hp was ruled out and added "customers don't want it." We'd imagine Diess can tip the scales more so than Capito.
2018 Volkswagen Golf R
The latest information cites sources inside VW that claim the so-called Golf R Plus would be the brand's halo model and sit above a new standard Golf R. The new car would effectively harkening back to the Golf R 400 concept shown in 2014. Such a model was even spied testing in prototype disguise, but it's thought the German automaker's diesel scandal pushed plans back indefinitely.
VW has reportedly made a lot of progress on the car, which appears like an about-face considering the information we learned last month. A design mockup has been completed, per the source, and it features a far more aggressive style with wider wheel arches and an overall wider track.
2020 Volkswagen Golf spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Should the Golf R Plus get the green light for production, VW believes it will compete with its corporate cousin Audi and the RS 3. Additionally, the hatchback would also aim to steal sales from the Mercedes-AMG A45. Jost himself said last month that Golf R buyers are a different breed and are often wealthier than a GTI buyer. They can afford a more premium car, but these buyers often choose the Golf R. He imagined a hotter Golf R, as we're speaking to here, would cost around $56,000. The current Golf R costs $41,000.
The next-generation Golf will reach our shores early next year and a new Golf R should be right behind it. The hotter Golf R Plus should follow it shortly thereafter, assuming the project doesn't experience any hiccups.