Currently reading: Volkswagen Golf R power drops to 296bhp amid WLTP changes
Tighter emissions regulations have forced fitment of more restrictive exhaust system
Sam Sheehan
2 mins read
4 July 2018

Volkswagen’s Golf R super-hatch has followed suit of the Seat Leon Cupra by having its power output downgraded due to changes forced by the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

Output from the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is now rated at 296bhp, down from 306bhp in the pre-WLTP car.

A VW spokesman told Autocar: “In the context of new homologations, there are adaptions for the exhaust gas treatment and for the power output. From now on, all Golf R models will feature a 300PS [296bhp] engine.”

Although VW refrained from revealing technical details that show why the power output has changed, it’s thought that the more stringent emissions limits of WLTP — which uses real-world testing rather than the lab-based process of the outgoing New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) — has forced the company to fit a more restrictive exhaust system that reduces its real-world nitrogen oxide output.

Analysis: Are car makers ready for WLTP?

The move will affect cars currently on order. VW said it will contact those awaiting their cars to be built to inform them of the changes.

The Golf R range has also been slimmed down to just the five-door bodyshape and DSG gearbox, meaning the three-door and manual models are no longer offered — a move that is linked to customer demand.

VW and Seat are two of several manufacturers racing to change the specifications of their cars ahead of the introduction of WLTP in September. Some models are even being culled ahead of the deadline, such as the BMW M3, which is being axed because, as a BMW spokesman said, it doesn’t make economical sense to re-engineer a model that is relatively close to the end of its production cycle.

BMW recently confirmed that it had retested its range to WLTP standards, with increases in CO2 and reductions in fuel economy shown across the line-up. This is expected to be true of all retested cars with combustion engines due to the tougher requirements of the new procedure.


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4 July 2018

The Golf R is popular so you see a lot of them about - and most have noticeably sooty and dirty exhaust tips. I am concerned about their real world emissions.

4 July 2018

 That’s what we’re talking about here, does it make a noticeable difference in performance?, will most care, are most chipped anyway?......

4 July 2018

 That’s what we’re talking about here, does it make a noticeable difference in performance?, will most care, are most chipped anyway?......

4 July 2018

Using the weights from the VW website it looks like the 10 horses lost is roughly the equivelent to having an extra passenger in the 306bhp version.

Can you feel the difference in performance when you have a passenger in the car? Many people will say yes.

Also it's owners of cars like this that will pay hundreds for induction kids and sports exhausts for a few extra horsepower, so they won't be pleased.

And of course there's the phsycological difference between havign a car that's in the 200's vs a car that's in the 300's.

4 July 2018

Autocar insist on using bhp so they say 296, everyone else uses PS so it's still 300.

Now everyone can look forward to regenerating their exhaust particle filter and not just diesel drivers!

4 July 2018
Surely the tragic dropping of a manual option is due to emissions?

In days gone by, did anyone drive a Golf Mk1 and say to themselves 'This is all very well and good. But I wish it had a really good auto box?'.

4 July 2018

Fair point eseaton. Had one, never thought 'crikey all this needs now is an automatic transmission'. My friends Audi 80 was auto though.


4 July 2018
I'd also noticed that. Doubt its related as that's particulates but curious none the less. My diesel is spotless.

5 July 2018
jer wrote:

My diesel is spotless.

Haha...thanks for a chuckle! 


5 July 2018

... The Mk VIII is purported to be aiming for 400 (bhp or ps, it doesn't really matter).


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