Spicy Volkswagen Golf R Wagon Seen Testing Disguised as Alltrack

A 329-horsepower station wagon with drift mode, anyone?

Der neue Volkswagen Golf R Variant
Volkswagen AG

Besides their ethnicity, what do the Audi RS6 Avant, facelifted Mercedes-AMG E 63, and upcoming BMW M3 Touring all have in common? For one, they're all seriously quick station wagons, and for two, they'll put a dent the size of a meteor crater in your wallet. Outside of the luxury segment, however, fast wagons are sadly thin on the ground, though that may be about to change, as a prototype of what's believed to be a 2021 Volkswagen Golf R wagon has reportedly been spotted cruising Europe's roads.

Shown in photos published by Autocar, the suspected Golf R wagon prototype was cheekily disguised by Volkswagen as a Golf Alltrack, using dark body cladding often used to trick the eye into seeing added ground clearance where there isn't much. But several small styling details blow the faux-Alltrack's cover, like extra grille intakes for improved cooling, a significant rear spoiler, and quad exhaust tips that reportedly match those of previously seen Golf R test mules. Topping it all off are huge alloy wheels, which wear low-profile tires and encircle the big blue brake calipers VW reserves for only its fastest models.

Under the Mk8 (or mark eight) Golf R's skin will reportedly be a drivetrain reminiscent of the discontinued Mk7 model; its venerable EA888 2.0-liter turbo-four boosted to 329 horsepower according to an infographic leaked in January. Power will reportedly travel through a seven-speed automatic (no manual option this time 'round) to an enhanced Haldex all-wheel-drive system, which rumor has it will include a rear axle-favoring drift mode.

Volkswagen allegedly planned to reveal the new Golf R in all its glory at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, though if accurate, that plan would have been shot down by the event's COVID-forced cancellation. Instead, the 2021 Volkswagen Golf R's reveal is speculated to fall sometime between now and the end of Autumn; an admittedly wide window that doesn't give us much to go on.

As for the new Golf R's availability in the States, it will happen, as the Golf GTI and R have actually made up about half of the stateside Golf sales in recent years. But the alleged wagon variant? Don't cross your fingers. Wagons sales may be improving, but not by enough to convince VW to grace us with the gorgeous Arton R Shooting Brake—yet.

Granted, the Arteon's sales here are another level of atrocious, but the takeaway remains the same: If it's shaped like a wagon, it won't sell in America without an extra half-inch of ground clearance and "Cross" suffixed to its name. And if that's what it takes to get a Golf R wagon or Arteon R Shooting brake over here, we'll gladly swallow that bitter pill.

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