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Volkswagen Officially Confirms Production-Ready Golf R400; Has Focus RS In Its Crosshairs

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On: Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 11:20AM | By: Carl Malek


Volkswagen Officially Confirms Production-Ready Golf R400; Has Focus RS In Its Crosshairs

Following its stint on the auto show circuit as a concept vehicle, the Golf R400 has received the green light for production from Volkswagen’s board of directors, according to a top-level executive. It's a sign that it aims to steal sales from the Ford Focus RS as well as challengers in its home European market.

This comes on the heels of the recent unveiling of the Ford Focus RS which will bring 315 horsepower and all-wheel drive to the hot hatchback wars. Volkswagen's move appears to suggest that the Wolfsburg-based firm is taking the Ford's challenge to its segment dominance very seriously, and is willing to do whatever it takes to maintain its seat as king of the hot-hatch category.

"We have the Golf more sporty than ever before, since we sill soon have the Golf R400 - we will do this car," stated Dr. Heinz-Jackob Neusser, Head of Powertrain Development, in remarks to the publication Car.

For its part, Volkswagen has not officially released details on what will make up the production-spec version of the GolF R400; however, expect the car to follow the concept very closely, which should please enthusiasts who wanted major aspects of the overall idea intact. An Audi-derived 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is expected to be on tap in this application, and should make at least 415 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque, though these preliminary figures could deviate somewhat when the car is formally unveiled. The car would most likely also take a page from the lower tier Golf R's playbook and incorporate an all-wheel drive system to better regulate power to all four wheels. It is unknown what transmission will ultimately be available, but look for either a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch DSG gearbox to be offered. The beefed-up hardware will allow the car to have better performance figures than its Golf R sibling with a blisteringly fast 3.9 second 0 to 60 time a key selling point.

Unlike the performance hardware, Volkswagen is expected to not make many tweaks to its already competent chassis, but the exterior will most likely retain many of the enhancements that made their debut on the concept R400. These include a front splitter, reworked bumpers, a rear air diffuser, as well as a trunk-mounted rear spoiler. It is also unknown what body style has made the transition to production, but three- and five-door body styles have allegedly been proposed by VW engineers.

It is currently unknown when the R400 will make its world debut, but multiple rumors suggest that it could appear as early as the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show (September 12-15) with the first deliveries occurring either later this year or in early 2016. Pricing details are also unknown, but look for the figure to be a substantial premium over the $25,000 GTI as well as the $39,000 Golf R.

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