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Next Volkswagen Golf R set for 298kW lift: report

Power hungry: While the Australian-market Golf R currently develops 213kW of power, the next-generation model will reportedly up the ante to about 298kW.

Volkswagen to up ante with 298kW Golf R new-generation hot hatch: Auto Express

1 Jun 2018

VOLKSWAGEN has reportedly set its sights on the new-generation Mercedes-AMG A45 and Ford Focus RS with suggestions that the next Golf R will also break the 298kW (400bhp) power barrier.
Speaking to British automotive publication Auto Express, Volkswagen Passenger Cars member of the board with responsibility for sales, marketing and aftersales Juergen Stackmann revealed the Golf R’s future.
“The R brand is going extreme,” he said. “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.”
While the upcoming Golf R’s drivetrain is yet to be confirmed, it is expected to mirror that of the existing model, which produces 228kW in current European-market form.
As such, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, Volkswagen’s DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and 4Motion all-wheel-drive system are likely to be employed again.
In order to achieve the projected 70kW lift, Volkswagen could also use its mild-hybrid technology announced for the regular eighth-generation Golf range in April this year.
The 48-volt electrical system combines a belt-integrated starter generator with a lithium-ion battery to provide an electric boost during hard acceleration while also reducing fuel consumption in certain scenarios.
However, as reported by GoAuto, Volkswagen Group Australia has no plans to import mild-hybrid Golf 8s when the new mainstream model starts to hit local showrooms in 2020, but could make an exception for the flagship variant.
Alternatively, Volkswagen could opt for a version of the internal-combustion powerplant found in the stillborn Golf R400 from April 2015, which packed 295kW but never made it into production after the Dieselgate saga broke five months later.
Regardless, the Golf R will go toe-to-toe with the aforementioned AMG A45 and Focus RS, which are both rumoured to pack at least 298kW, with the latter expected include mild-hybrid technology.
The Audi RS3 Sportback will also be waiting in the wings with its 294kW 2.5-litre turbo-petrol five-cylinder unit, but is likely to carry a one-cylinder advantage over the expected 298kW trio.
Mr Stackmann added that the Golf R’s powertrain will not be the only aspect of the flagship to receive a serious performance-focused lift.
“With a little more expressive design, R can go beyond the rational side of things,” he said. “(R) can find its place in a different league of pure performance, and there’s a space where customers are willing to pay a significant amount of money.”
Thus, the forthcoming Golf R is expected to be more aggressive-looking than its docile predecessor, complete with lashings of carbon-fibre, purposeful bumper designs and quad exhaust tips.
The existing 213kW Golf R is priced from $47,490 in entry-level manual Grid hatchback guise, rising to $59,990 for the flagship DSG Wolfsburg Edition wagon form.
Volkswagen has already been busy improving its hot-hatch game, including recent announcements that the Golf GTI will be exclusively offered in 180kW Performance guise from October, while the 213kW Golf GTI TCR previewed last month is likely to reach Australian showrooms.

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