Report: 2020 Volkswagen Golf R Could Have 400 Horsepower

Automakers keep turning up the thermostat on their hot hatchbacks and it seems the new Golf R will be the most extreme yet.

Daniel Byrne

Statements by a Volkswagen board member suggest the 2020 Golf R could break the 400 horsepower barrier.

"The R brand is going extreme," stated Jürgen Stackmann, a board member tasked with sales and marketing, in an interview with Auto Express. "The role of R is that it can go beyond the rational; nobody needs a compact car with 400 BHP, but is there a place? Certainly, and that’s the turf of R."

Stackmann continued, "With a little more expressive design, R can go beyond the rational side of things. It 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."

The Drive reached out to Volkswagen for confirmation of Stackmann's comments, but a company official declined to comment.

Stackmann's statements elevate horsepower expectations above the 350 figure rumored last summer, far in excess of the seventh generation Golf R's 292 horsepower output. The Golf R Performance Pack makes 310, though whether this package will be available stateside is not certain

Those with the money for a roided-up Golf R but none of the patience to wait until 2020 can run to ABT, which retunes the seventh generation Golf R to serve up 400 hp on the money.

Horsepower hikes will be necessary to keep the Golf GTi and R relevant in the evolving hot hatch and overlapping compact sports sedan landscape. The front-wheel drive must contend with respectable rivals such as the Hyundai Veloster N and Honda Civic Type R, while the all-wheel drive will face the likely-400-hp Mercedes-AMG A 45 and a rejuvenated Subaru WRX

We only wish the Ford Focus RS were still around to further complicate choices...and that the Ford Fiesta RS was real.