The Golf R will be back with a vengeance in 2020

The Volkswagen Golf R, the range-topping version of the seventh-generation hatchback, has been discontinued for the 2020 model year. The high-performance five-door will return with the Mk8 version of the Volkswagen Golf. The R version was discontinued alongside the SportWagen and Alltrack models, but the standard Golf, the e-Golf, and the GTI carry over for 2020.

The Volkswagen Golf R Goes on Hiatus

The Volkswagen Golf R Has Been Cancelled but For How Long? Exterior
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Once the Golf Mk8 replaces the current-generation hatchback on the production line, Volkswagen will make room for a brand-new R model

Although you won’t be able to buy the current Golf R beyond 2019, it doesn’t mean that the nameplate is being killed off. The Golf R is just going on hiatus, a move that has something to do with changes made at VW’s plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. With a new-generation Golf underway, the Germans are updating the tooling and production line, an operation that usually affects output. As a result, Volkswagen dropped three of the six models in production. While the regular Golf, the electric-only e-Golf, and the Golf GTI carry on, the range-topping R, the SportWagen wagon, and the raised Alltrack wagon were discontinued.

There’s no information as to why Volkswagen chose to put the Golf R on hiatus, but it probably has something to do with sales numbers. While the R is definitely cool when it comes to performance, it’s not as popular as the regular Golf and the GTI. The e-Golf isn’t a high seller only, but it’s an important model for a brand that made big statements about taking the electrification route in recent months.

Once the Golf Mk8 replaces the current-generation hatchback on the production line, Volkswagen will make room for a brand-new R model as well.

The Volkswagen Golf R is one of two Golfs you’ll be able to buy in the U.S.

The Volkswagen Golf R Has Been Cancelled but For How Long? Exterior
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When it returns with eighth-generation specs, the Golf R will be one of only two Golfs you’ll be able to buy in the United States. The other one will be the Golf GTI. Volkswagen revealed this earlier in 2019 when it announced plans to reduce the number of Golf variants that it wants to import in the U.S. The regular Golf and the wagon versions will no longer be sold here, so the GTI will become the base model. The e-Golf will probably live on as a separate offering.

The Volkswagen Golf R is coming back in 2020

The Volkswagen Golf R Has Been Cancelled but For How Long? Exterior Wallpaper quality
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A brand-new Golf R should arrive by the end of 2020

So when’s the Golf R coming back? Well, there’s no official word on that, but the R model usually shows up later than the standard Golf. The current Golf R, for instance, arrived some two years later than the regular hatchback. Reports claim that the Golf Mk8 will make its debut at Volkswagen’s new factory in Wolfburg this October, which could translate into a public unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. If the past is any indication, the new Golf R should arrive for the 2022 model year.

However, the competition is now stiffer than ever, and automakers take a lot less to launch high-performance versions of the regular cars. Add in the fact that the regular Golf won’t be sold in the U.S. and it’s pretty obvious that Volkswagen won’t wait a couple of years to put the Golf R in showrooms. We will probably see the Golf GTI debut in the first half of 2020, while the Golf R should arrive by the end of the same year. All told, expect to be able to buy the Golf R for the 2021 model year.

The Volkswagen Golf R has already been tested

The Volkswagen Golf R Has Been Cancelled but For How Long? Exterior
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While VW isn’t very keen on talking about the new-generation Golf R, the beefed-up hatchback has been spotted testing in various locations over the last 12 months. Granted, the Germans drove it featuring either the old Mk7 body or a heavily camouflaged version of the new Mk8, but we know it’s coming. We also know that it will pack more punch than the outgoing model.

The Volkswagen Golf R will have 400 horsepower

The Volkswagen Golf R Has Been Cancelled but For How Long?
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The Mk8 Golf R will go wild and generate a whopping 400 horsepower

The next-generation Golf R will be significantly more powerful than its predecessor. For this old generation, the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 306 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Definitely impressive, but the Mk8 will go wilder than that and generate a whopping 400 horsepower. That’s the word in the rumor mill, which also includes claims that Volkswagen might use a 48-volt system to improve power and reduce consumption.

The mild-hybrid system has already been introduced in various vehicles from the Volkswagen Group, and it should find its way in the Golf R as well. Granted, Volkswagen also needs to develop a more powerful four-banger, but it doesn’t necessarily need to go past the 350-horsepower mark. The 48-volt system could add around 50 horses to take total output to around 400 horsepower. Torque should also exceed a total of 350 pound-feet of torque. In this setup, the Golf R should be able to hit 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds, a half-second improvement over the outgoing model.

Volkswagen Golf R Mk7 vs Mk8
Volkswagen Golf R Mk7 Volkswagen Golf R MK8
Engine 2.0-liter four-cylinder 2.0-liter four-cylinder + 48-volt system
Horsepower 306 hp 400 HP
Torque 280 lb-ft 350 lb-ft
0 to 60 mph 4.9 seconds 4.5 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph 155 mph

Further reading

The Volkswagen Golf R Has Been Cancelled but For How Long? Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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Read our full review on the 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8.

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