According to a new report from Autocar, the Golf 8 range is set to be topped by an extreme Golf R Plus model to rival the likes of the Mercedes-AMG A45.
The four-wheel-drive machine would sit above the planned Golf R version in the line-up of the eighth-generation model. Under its skin, it would rely on hardware and technology from the seventh-generation Golf R400 concept shown in 2014 and the Golf TCR race car developed by Volkswagen Motorsport.
According to the publication, Volkswagen insiders have claimed it will be the “most extreme and powerful Golf yet”. As an indicator of its potential performance, they pointed to the supercar-like acceleration and top speed of the R400, which was claimed to have a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of just 3.9 sec and a 280 km/h (174 mph) top speed.
Before we get too excited, the new Golf R Plus has not yet been approved for production, but Autocar has been told that it has the support of VW boss Herbert Diess. If it gets the go-ahead, it is likely to join the VW line-up after the new Golf R goes on sale in 2020, at a price similar to that of the Audi RS3.
At the heart of the secret new range-topping Golf is a highly tuned version of the Volkswagen Group’s EA888 petrol engine. In the new Golf R, the turbocharged 2.0-litre unit is planned to deliver around 320 hp (239 kW). But with a range of power-enhancing measures, the engine could ultimately provide the Golf R Plus with between 380 hp and 400 hp (300 kW).