While the Volkswagen Golf R has yet to go on sale in the United States, although it already made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the Wolfsburg crew has unveiled an even more powerful version of the hot hatch . Dubbed the Golf R 400, the new machine made its official debut at the Beijing Auto Show as a concept car that takes the familiar Golf design and wraps it into a more assertive package with significantly more power under the hood.
Although Volkswagen isn’t the type of automaker that looks back on past models when designing new vehicles, the R 400 Concept showed up in China with exterior cues taken from two of its most important hatches — the Rallye Golf G60 built in the late 1980s and the VR6-powered R32 model based on the fourth-generation Golf .
Apparently Volkswagen doesn’t plan to put the Golf R 400 into production anytime soon, but the concept car is worth looking into as some of its design features and technologies are likely to go mainstream.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept.
Adding to the car’s mean and sleek stance are the redesigned two-tone front bumper, carbon-fiber splitter, gloss black grille and horizontal yellow stripe that goes from one headlamp to the other.
Based on the standard Golf R, the R 400 Concept takes the production model’s looks to a new level, hinting that the front hood hides more than the 298 horses available on the already beefed-up model.
For starters, the concept vehicle is 20 mm (0.8 inches) wider on each side, thanks to the flared wheel arches that are reminiscent of the limited production Rallye Golf G60 that was sold in 1988. Adding to the car’s mean and sleek stance are the redesigned two-tone front bumper, the carbon-fiber splitter, the gloss black grille and the horizontal yellow stripe that goes from one headlamp to the other.
Around back, a reshaped rear bumper comes with new vents and dark grey accents and a diffuser. The aerodynamic unit includes center-mounted twin exhaust pipes, a different layout than the regular four-tailpipe setup seen on the production Golf R. The exterior is rounded off by unique 19-inch alloy wheels with gloss black inserts and a Silver Flake metallic paint job complemented by a gloss black roof and carbon mirror caps.
The most noticeable additions are the motorsport shell seats that come with integrated head restraints and belt openings.
The Golf R 400’s interior is not overly different when compared to the regular Golf R’s cabin, but it does sport a number of additional features that enable it to stand out. The most noticeable additions are the motorsport shell seats that come with integrated head restraints and belt openings. Wrapped in cross-quilted Alcantara panels and "carbon leather", the seats wear an embroidered R logo and contrast yellow stitching.
Nothing else has been changed save for more yellow stitching on the steering wheel, the shifter and the floor mats and similar inserts on the doors. The instrument cluster was also gifted with Lemon Yellow surrounds and details.
The most important change lies under the hood, where Volkswagen’s high-performance R division managed to squeeze 395 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque out of the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
The most important change lies under the hood, where Volkswagen’s high-performance R division managed to squeeze 395 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque out of the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. These figures were achieved with help from a brand-new turbocharger featuring a higher maximum charge pressure and a reinforced crankcase.
Volkswagen decline to offer any actual details, but did say that the mill, which is also fitted with a water-cooled exhaust gas feed and variable valve control with dual camshaft adjustment, not only offers better performance, but provides improved fuel economy as well. Whether this new turbocharger will be seen in future production vehicles or not is unknown at the time of this writing, but we have a feeling it will be offered to the masses pretty soon.
Mated to the familiar six-speed DSG transmission available in so many VWs and Audis, the unit reportedly enables the Golf R 400 Concept to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds — a full second faster than the production Golf R — on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 174 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, Volkswagen didn’t say anything about the vehicle’s chassis updates. With more power under the hood, an upgraded suspension system and improved brakes are mandatory for all that horsepower to provide the expected results.
2014 Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept - Drivetrain Specifications
|Engine Type||EA888 2.0L 4-Cyl Turbo|
|Horsepower (HP @ RPM)||395 @ TBA (400 PS @ TBA)|
|Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)||332 (450 Nm) @ 2,400 - 6,000|
|Acceleration (0-62 MPH)||3.9 Sec|
|Top Speed (Electronically Limited)||174 MPH|
Just a Concept or a Glimpse into the Future?
Quoting Volkswagen, the Golf R 400 Concept is only a concept car that won’t see an assembly line too soon. However, putting it into production wouldn’t be too much of a hassle, as the vehicle is pretty much ready for assembly, with very few prototype parts. The question is whether Volkswagen really needs an even more hotter hatch above the Golf R with a price tag north of $35,000. On the other hand, a slightly detuned version of the concept could give the 360-horsepower Audi RS3 a run for its money. And we all know that VW has no issue pitting its many brands against one another.
Given the Volkswagen Golf’s success worldwide, it’s not surprising that the German automaker is pondering a more powerful version of the its iconic hatch. The R 400 has what it takes to become a show stopper in its segment, but we all know that the road from concept to production car is long and bumpy, even when the former is far from being extreme.
- Powerful engine
- Aggressive looks
- No production plans
- No word on chassis upgrades
- Bland interior
Gallery Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept
Press Release 2
400 PS FOUR-WHEEL-DRIVE GOLF R 400 CONCEPT ROARS INTO BEIJING AUTO SHOW
19/04/14 from Volkswagen Print this page Add this release to Your Downloads
Volkswagen is displaying the potential of its flagship Golf R hatchback at the Auto China show in Beijing, in the muscular form of the Golf R 400 concept. If the ‘400’ in the name doesn’t give the game away that this is a seriously powerful machine, then the body and bumper modifications and flared wheelarches should give more than a hint.
Based on the standard Golf R hatchback, which with its turbocharged 300 PS engine and 4MOTION four-wheel drive is hardly a shrinking violet, the Golf R 400 ups the ante considerably, with 400 PS and an extra 70 Nm of torque, making for 450 Nm in total, available from 2,400 to 6,000 rpm.
Developed by Volkswagen R GmbH, the arm responsible for high-power and customisation projects, the Golf R 400 uses a modified version of the engine found in the Golf R: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine (Type EA888). The extra power of the 400 helps propel this six-speed DSG-equipped model from rest to 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds, a whole second faster than its 300 PS sibling. Its top speed is 174 mph (governed).
To achieve the increase in power, the Golf R 400 features a newly developed turbocharger with a higher maximum charge pressure and reinforced crankcase. A water-cooled exhaust gas feed to the turbocharger integrated in the cylinder head helps to reduce full-load fuel consumption, while variable valve control with dual camshaft adjustment improves economy and performance.
At 1,420 kg, the Golf R 400 weighs the same as the standard Golf R, but its appearance has been substantially altered. The body is 20 mm wider on each side, with flared wheelarches that are reminiscent of those on the 1988 Rallye Golf G60. These arches, like most of the body, are painted in ‘Silver Flake’ metallic, and contrast with the gloss black roof and carbon door mirror caps. New sill extensions seamlessly bridge the gap between the widened arches. Filling those arches are 19-inch alloy wheels on an increased offset. A development of the Golf R’s standard ‘Cadiz’ wheels, these are highly modified, with high-gloss back inserts that act as air vanes, helping to cool the reinforced braking system. The tyres are 235/35 R19s.
At the front, the bumper has been completely redesigned to take into account the greater cooling requirements of the R 400. A carbon fibre splitter and aerodynamic ‘wing element’ help to push air towards the honeycomb mesh of the grille – one of many aspects influenced by motorsport. The ‘R’ badge on the gloss black radiator grille sits on a ‘Lemon Yellow’ background, while the horizontal stripe across the grille (which, like the chrome strip on the Golf R, continues into the bi-xenon headlights) is also ‘Lemon Yellow’.
The redesigned rear bumper includes vents on each side, and the Golf R’s four tailpipes have been replaced with two centrally mounted items, like those on the 2002 Golf R32. These 110 mm diameter items are 200 mm apart, and point slightly upwards, displaying a honeycomb mesh. A black double spoiler with LED brake lights atop the tailgate finishes the look.
Inside are motorsport shell seats with integrated head restraints and belt openings. These are upholstered in cross-quilted panels covered in Alcantara, and ‘carbon leather’, as are the two individual rear seats. Stitching throughout the interior is in contrasting ‘Lemon Yellow’.
The Golf R 400 is only a concept at this stage, with no production plans.
Volkswagen has released design sketches of the Golf R 400 concept car, ahead of its official unveiling at the Auto China show in Beijing on 19 April.
As the name suggests, the Golf R 400 is an even more extreme concept version of the already powerful Golf R hatchback, with power increased from 300 to 400 PS.
As well as a series of engine modifications to increase power, the R 400 features body and bumper modifications, flared wheelarches, uprated wheels and a reworked interior that includes motorsport shell seats with integral head restraints and belt openings.
The flared wheelarches are deliberately reminiscent of those on the 1988 Rallye Golf G60, and most of the concept is painted in ‘Silver Flake’ metallic, in contrast to the gloss black roof and carbon door mirror caps.
‘Lemon Yellow’ highlights on the outside include the horizontal stripe across the grille (which, like the chrome strip on the Golf R, continues into the bi-xenon headlights), while the interior stitching is also ‘Lemon Yellow’.
The four-wheel drive, DSG-equipped Golf R 400 promises a zero to 62 mph time of just 3.9 seconds – a full second quicker than the standard Golf R – and a top speed of 174 mph.
The Golf R 400 is only a concept at this stage, with no production plans.