Volkswagen is planning to give their flagship hatchback a power boost for 2020.
The current seventh generation Golf hatchback reached its end of life. Introduced in 2012, it’s been the dominant car in the European hatchback market and enjoys strong sales here in North America (although, with new tariffs coming we’ll see how strong those sales last).
But it’s starting to lag behind its competitors, such as the Audi S3 or the Honda Civic Type-R. What it needs is a refresh on both the outside and on the inside. And according to Volkswagen’s head of sales and marketing, that’s exactly what it’s going to get.
“The R brand is going extreme,” Jürgen Stackmann told Auto Express in a recent interview. “The role of R is that it can go beyond the rational; nobody needs a compact car with 400hp, but is there a place [for it?]. Certainly, and that’s the turf of R.”
That’s right: 400 ponies from one tiny hatchback. Europe is insane for their hot hatches.
According to Auto Express, the 2020 Golf R will retain the current engine from its predecessor, which means a 2.0-L turbocharged 4-cylinder that has either been tuned up from 306 hp or has a much larger turbo than before. Mated to that engine will be the same drivetrain of 4MOTION AWD and either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed direct-shift gearbox.
Volkswagen also said that the new Golf R should be getting mild hybrid technology which will further increase its low-speed performance while also improving fuel economy by allowing the engine to turn off while idle. It will also allow the car to use regenerative brakes to recoup energy lost while braking.
There’s speculation that the Golf R will even get lighter than the previous version through the extensive use of carbon fiber. This new Golf might just verge into the realm of supercars depending on how light it actually gets.
The 2020 Golf R will go on sale sometime late next year. Stay tuned for more details (and whether it’ll even be sold in the USA anymore) in the coming months.