These design sketches preview the Volkswagen Golf R 400 concept car, which will be unveiled this week at the Beijing motor show. The show car hints at a potential production special.
The Golf R 400 uses a highly tuned version of VW’s 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, producing 395bhp with 332lb ft of torque. Those figures represent increases of 99bhp and 52lb ft over the engine in the standard Golf R, which cuts the 0-62mph time by a full second, down to 3.9 seconds.
Like the production car, the R 400 uses Volkswagen’s 4Motion four-wheel-drive system, with power delivered through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The 4Motion system transfers most torque to the front wheels most of the time, but it can shuffle almost all of it to either axle when required.
Volkswagen’s XDS+ stability control system, which can brake the wheels on the inside of a bend to improve handling balance through fast corners, is fitted to both axles.
Where the Golf R’s bodykit is fairly restrained, the R 400 is far more beefed up. The body is 4cm wider than the production car's, with deep flared wheelarches over both axles. The alloy wheels are the same size, though, at 19 inches.
There’s also a matt carbonfibre front splitter, side sills and diffuser. The new front bumper has much wider air intakes compared with those on the standard R, and at the rear there are two 11cm exhaust tailpipes, which are mounted centrally in the rear bumper.
In the cabin, the R 400’s bucket seats are clad in quilted Alcantara for the inserts and dark leather for the supports and backrest. The upholstery’s stitching is a bright yellow colour, which is reflected elsewhere on the trim around the car.
While the Golf R 400 is technically just a design and engineering study for now, VW could explore a limited production run if there is enough interest from potential customers.