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Volkswagen Golf R400 : Current Models

Volkswagen has signaled a desire to mix it the today’s crop of mega-hatches with a spectacular new 294kW version of the seventh-generation Golf called the R400.

Unveiled at the Beijing motor show, the new über-Golf has been developed by Volkswagen’s R division in a program aimed at both showcasing its engineering prowess and range of customization.

The rapid new three-door hatchback, the latest in a long line of Golf concepts, is based around the mechanical package of the recently introduced Golf R in a move that sees it take direct aim at the likes of the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, BMW M235i and sister company Audi’s upcoming second-generation RS3.

The Golf R400 runs a powered up version of the new Golf R’s turbocharged 2.0-litre direct injection four-cylinder gasoline engine, the EA888 as it is known internally. Its engineering has been overseen by Volkswagen’s head of petrol engine development, Fritz Eichler – the man behind the similarly configured unit used in the most powerful of the existing crop of mega-hatches, the A45 AMG.

With 294kW at 7200rpm and 450Nm of torque between 2000 and 6000rpm, the heavily tuned four pot packs a significant 73kW and 70Nm more than the already potent Golf R. By comparison, the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG offers 265kW at 6000rpm and the same 450Nm of torque on a slightly narrower band of revs between 2250-5000rpm.

Volkswagen’s EA888 engine was also showcased in Audi’s TT Quattro Sport Concept at the Geneva motor show back in March with a slightly higher output of 309kW and exactly the same torque loading as the Golf R400.

To maximize the sledgehammer performance potential of its engine, Volkswagen’s latest concept employs a six-speed manual gearbox and the latest version of Volkswagen’s Haldex multi-plate clutch 4Motion four-wheel drive system, a combination that has also been taken from the new Golf R.

The electro-mechancial 4Motion four-wheel drive system constantly alters the amount of drive sent to the front and rear axles, with up to 100 per cent of the formidable reserves able to be channeled to either end depending on prevailing levels of traction. It operates in combination with Volkswagen’s EDS and XDS+ electronic differential locks as part of the Golf R400’s multi function ESP system, which also boasts a sport function to allow a less aggressive intervention of the electrics when the driving conditions permit.

The Golf R400 is based around the three-door Golf R, with which it shares its hot formed steel floorpan and elements of its bodyshell.

Despite early rumors suggesting it may receive a wider range a weight saving measures than those featured on the concept in Beijing, it is not exceptionally light. But at 1420kg, new Volkswagen undercuts the Golf R with standard six-speed manual gearbox by 36kg and the A45 AMG, which runs a standard seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, by 135kg. This endows it with a weight-to-power ratio of 4.8kg/kW.

Volkswagen says the Golf R400 reaches 100km/h from standstill in a sizzling 3.9sec, 1.0sec faster than the German car maker quotes for the latest Golf R and 0.7sec faster than Mercedes-Benz claims for the A45 AMG. Top speed is limited to 280km/h – 30km/h up on the limited 250km/h maximum of the Golf R and A45 AMG, although officials suggest the gearing would allow it to crack 300km/h without electronic intervention.

The powerful new three-door hatchback’s styling is a lot less restrained than recent concepts based on Volkswagen’s perennial best seller in line with plans to create a car that could be considered for low volume production. Up front there is a deeper bumper sporting integral carbon fibre elements, including a prominent splitter. The cooling ducts have also been heavily modified to ram a greater amount of air into the engine bay and to the front brakes.

In a move that provides it with an even more aggressive stance than the new Golf R, the Golf R400 receives unique fenders that have been widened by 20mm, giving it an added 40mm of added width both front and rear.

Further back, there are carbon fibre exterior mirror housings and subtle sill extensions. The rear is distinguished by a carbon fibre wing spoiler atop the tailgate and a deeper bumper imbued with carbon fibre elements, vertical ducts used to extract hot air from the wheel houses as well as a carbon fibre diffuser housing two large round tail pipes.

Yellow accents are used within the headlamp assemblies, which feature the latest LED graphics, as well as the grille and brake calipers to visually set the new car apart from the Golf R, which uses chrome highlights. The new Volkswagen also sports yellow and chrome R400 badges within the grille, along the flanks and on the tailgate.

As with its driveline, the chassis of the Golf R400 is borrowed largely from the Golf R. The two share the same MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension, which is set 20mm lower than regular Golf models and features DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) that adapts the dampers to one of three modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport. A further common feature are the 19-inch wheels and 235/35 R19 tyres.

Inside, the Golf R400 once again builds on the Golf R with revised instruments (including a speedo incremented to 320km/h) and carbon fibre backed shell seats up front in combination of carbon fibre trim elements and yellow stitching.

Wolfsburg officials are tightlipped on the chances of the Golf R400 reaching showrooms. However, sources at its R division, which was responsible for its conception, development and engineering, suggest its close links to the Golf R could be an important factor in ensuring it sees production on a limited basis as a figure head for Volkswagen’s performance car division.

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Sources : Volkswagen Golf R400 Photo | Volkswagen Golf R400 Article


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