GOLF R400 PRODUCTION
Details are thin on the ground, but according to US mag Car & Driver, VW R&D boss Heinz-Jakob Neusser used the sidelines of the Beijing Auto Show to confirm production.
Volkswagen itself has yet to offer any official word on the concept’s future, but with wild specials like the Audi A1 Quattro running around, a limited run of R 400 hatches is far from inconceivable.
If the report of Neusser’s comments proves reliable, the question becomes one of power, price, availability and volumes.
In concept form, the Golf R 400 is powered by a souped-up 295kW and 450Nm version of the EA888 engine that, in the regular R, produces 221kW (206 for Oz) and 380Nm.
It remains to be seen if a production R 400 (which would still need to offer a warranty and the assurances that go with that) would offer the same figures.
But, according to Car & Driver, another VW executive - this time anonymous - confirmed the EA888 in the R 400 has not been drastically altered, and that it has the chops for the job.
“We haven’t reverted to cast iron and made it into an EA113 again. The EA888 can handle it,” the unnamed source said.
That leaves would-be buyers to wonder about price and availability. Where would the R 400 fit into the wider VAG family?
Alternatively, Volkswagen could take a tip from the Golf R and Audi S3 formula, offering the R 400 as a more affordable alternative to the coming new RS model.
This could also make the R 400 and its powered-up engine a preview of what we’ll see in the new RS 3, although reports suggest the top Audi will continue with its 2.5 litre five-cylinder turbo.
For now, only time will tell - and if the A1 Quattro is any clue, we’d suggest you not hold your breath on an Australian debut for the R 400.
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