400-HP VW Golf R In the Works Yet Again, Targeting Audi and Mercedes-AMG: Report

Volkswagen shot down the idea of a super-Golf last month, but word is the project is back on track.

Daniel Byrne

Just weeks after Volkswagen formally denied plans to build the long-rumored, 400-horsepower variant of its Golf R hot hatchback, a report has surfaced alleging that the project is back on track.

This potential range-topping model, reports Autocar, will sit above the Golf R derived from the upcoming eight-generation Golf, expected to be revealed later this year. Its drivetrain is said to be based on those of the 2014 Golf R400 concept and Golf GTI TCR race car.

"We're looking at introducing a new 'halo' performance model that would offer a level of performance beyond that of the next Golf R," a source inside Volkswagen reportedly told Autocar, alleging that this model will be the "most extreme and powerful Golf yet."

Power will reportedly come from an upgraded version of Volkswagen's EA888, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder used in the Golf GTI, Golf R, Jetta GLI, and other models. Horsepower targets are said to be between 380 and 400 horsepower with no hybrid assist. A dual-clutch, seven-speed transmission will reportedly dispense this power to a modernized Volkswagen 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, one said to have a "drift mode" that sends all power rearward, as popularized by the dearly departed Ford Focus RS.

By their powers combined, all these components are said to be good for a 0-to-60 time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 174 miles per hour.

Though a concept rendering for the model is said to have been drafted, Volkswagen reportedly has yet to give this Golf R variant the green light, though it allegedly has backing from Herbert Diess, the chairman of the board for Volkswagen Auto Group. If Diess has his supposed way, the mother of all Golfs will allegedly come to market some time after the next Golf R's launch in 2020, for a price that will put it in direct competition with the best the market has to offer, like the Audi RS 3 and Mercedes-AMG A 45.