VW Golf R420 spy photos: best look yet at 2016's super-Golf GTI

Published: 19 May 2015

► VW Golf R400 confirmed by board
► Fresh spyshots capture super-Golf for first time
► Upwards of 400bhp, 4wd: meet the hyper-hatch

Volkswagen is readying a red-hot Golf hot hatch with more than 400bhp - and our spies have now caught the VW Golf GTI hyper-hatch for the first time, as it undergoes durability testing near the Nurburgring in Germany.

Our photographs reveal the car just weeks after VW group powertrain chief Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser told CAR magazine the Golf R400 concept car was a live project and would reach production.

New spyshots of the hottest Golf yet

It's the first official confirmation that VW will launch the Golf R400 concept as a production car. And it sounds like it could become the hottest hatch of all, as the GTI rat race continues to gather momentum. It should come as no surprise that Mercedes is preparing a brawnier A45 AMG with - you guess it - closer to 400bhp.

'We have the Golf more sporty than ever before, since we soon will have the Golf R400 - we will do this car,' Neusser told CAR in an interview. 'We are in fact in development of it right now.'

Yes, you read that right: in a few short months you'll be able to buy a super-Golf with more than 400bhp and four-wheel drive. It's like the Golf R has popped down the gym and snorted a load of steroids at breaktime...

The concept VW Golf R400 and board member Heinz-Jakob Neusser, who confirmed the project's green light to CAR magazine

VW Golf R420: the lowdown

This will be the first road car in the VW empire to premiere the high-output 2.0-litre turbo engine already seen in Audi’s TT420 concept car.

Final power outputs are not yet known, but CAR expects somewhere between 400-414bhp [420 metric hp, hence the name], sent to all four wheels to stop the front wheels lighting up at every traffic light. And those rims are noticeably larger than on the standard Golf R - check out just how much lower-riding the prototype in our spy photos is.

Design, spec of new 2016 Golf R420

Don’t worry: there is no Max Power bodykit lined up for this uber-Golf. CAR understands that it’ll continue the understated, classy look of the GTI and R, but with a new spoiler and aero pack with splitters and extra addenda, visible in our scoop pictures.

The brakes will be beefed up to cope with the extra oomph, but the track remains stock Golf. This has to fit down a regular Wolfsburg production line - it is emphatically not a limited edition car, according to our sources.

When can I buy the super Golf hot hatch?

Word is the c400bhp VW Golf hyper-hatch is destined for a Frankfurt motor show debut in September 2015, with first deliveries pencilled in for late 2015 or early 2016. There's a whole heap of fast Golfs under development in Wolfsburg: VW also showed a few hot Golf GTI concepts at the 2015 Worthersee festival: a faster model, one prepped by VW apprentices and a wilder, hybrid Golf concept. Expect some to make productino as Volkswagen prepares to mark the GTI's ruby anniversary in 2015.

Cost of the R400/R420? To early to say definitively, but we hear that it will cost less than €50,000 in Germany. That means sub £40,000 in the UK, compared with £32,000 for a Golf R and £27,000 for a Golf GTI.

Sounds like hot hatches just got a little bit hotter…

Click here to read our VW Golf GTI Mk7 long-term test review.

Our spies caught the hot VW Golf R400 on test near the Nurburgring

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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  • Hyper-low profile tyres and lowered suspension for hottest Golf R to date
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  • Car on engineering wheels, we suspect
  • Expect to see the Golf R400 at Frankfurt show
  • Board member has already confirmed project is live
  • Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser with VW Golf R400
  • The VW Golf R400 concept car (pictured) did 0-62mph in 3.9sec
  • The VW Golf R400: coming to a showroom near you in 2015
  • Take one VW Golf R, add some more muscle et voila! The new 2015 VW Golf R420
  • This car will aim for the Mercedes A45 AMG's hot-hatch crown alright
  • Ever wondered why the cabin of the VW Golf R400 concept car looked so production-ready? Now you know...
  • Cockpit of the 2014 VW Golf R400 concept car
  • The 2.0-litre turbo in the VW Golf R400 concept car. That's 200bhp per litre!
  • 4motion all-wheel drive is naturally fitted to tame the 400bhp+ on offer