Volkswagen will launch seven new variants of the Volkswagen Golf within the next 12 months, including a range-topping 286bhp Golf R version.

Other performance-orientated Golfs will include the GTI and GTD models. At the other end of the scale will be the super-frugal BlueMotion variant and an all electric version called eGolf. Four wheel-drive 4Motion Golfs and a new Golf estate complete the seven-strong new Golf offensive.

The Golf R will crown the new range. Closely related to the new Audi S3, the Golf R will be the most powerful regular production Golf in history. Its 2.0 TSI engine produces 286bhp and 280lb ft.

When equipped with the six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, the Golf R will be able to crack 0-62mph in just 5.0sec and reach a limited top speed of 155mph.

VW has also extensively tuned the sound of the Golf R’s exhaust note to be louder and sportier than before.

The Golf R will again be all-wheel drive, using the new Haldex 5 system featured on the new 4Motion. VW claims that the system allows for keener handling thanks to a faster transfer of power between the front and rear axles. A pair of electronic differentials also feature on the new car.

The Golf R is also said to make use of lightweight technology in the bodywork and components, including the alloy wheels and brakes, and tip the scales at just 1200kg.

Despite the increased performance over the old 267bhp Golf R, its economy is said to have improved to 40.4mpg and CO2 emissions cut to 163g/km.

The Golf R is expected to be last of the so-far confirmed new Golf models to appear in the showroom. An on-sale date of early 2014 has been mooted after a launch at the Frankfurt motor show in September.