Currently reading: New 2020 Volkswagen Golf R: best look yet at 329bhp hot hatch
Hottest Mk8 Golf is spotted with no disguise, showing the 2020 R's interior for the first time
2 mins read
30 June 2020

Volkswagen isn't finished with the Golf Mk8 unveilings yet, with the range-topping R performance model due to be shown later this year. But undisguised prototypes are already being seen in and around Germany.  

After dropping almost all camo for a day testing at the Nürburgring earlier this year, a prototype has now been caught up close, also giving us a view of the interior. It shows the new model sticks to the formula of its predecessor, with understated performance the order of the day. 

Telltale R design cues include quad tailpipes at the rear, an enlarged lower air intake and an R-specific wheel design covering performance brakes with blue-painted callipers. A new rear spoiler is also evident alongside a lowered ride height. The view inside shows us there will be R-branded sports seats to mark out the cabin, but otherwise it'll be familiar Golf Mk8 fare. 

Although not yet confirmed, power outputs for all of the hot Mk8 Golf variants (the GTI, GTI TCR, GTD and R) leaked out earlier this year through a slideshow from a brand presentation. 

The slide revealed that the R will put out 329bhp - a 33bhp increase - from a heavily boosted version of the EA888 turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol motor. As before, this will be put through a Haldex-based four-wheel drive system and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. A manual gearbox isn't expected to be offered.  

The new Haldex system is said to be capable of fully variable control, constantly altering the drive sent to the front and rear axles, in combination with Volkswagen's XDS+ electronic differential locks and a stability control system that, insiders claim, will incorporate a drift mode similar to that of the Mercedes-AMG A45

Although it's not official yet, Autocar understands that the 2020 Golf R had been planned for an unveiling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, which had been rescheduled from July to September but has now been cancelled entirely. It's not yet clear when exactly VW will reveal the model, although insiders suggest it could be in late summer or early autumn. 


Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Read our review

Car review
Volkswagen Golf R 2019 road test review - hero front

Billed the 'Ultimate Golf' and given more power, but can this facelifted Volkswagen Golf R knock the imperious Ford Focus RS from its perch?

Back to top

What's also not yet clear is if a long-rumoured flagship Golf R Plus, expected to produce as much as 400bhp, will be saved for a debut next year or even later.  

Read more

New Volkswagen Golf range to be topped by 400bhp R Plus​

First ride: Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI prototype

Volkswagen Golf R M52 2019 UK review​

Join the debate


11 February 2020

As different as one tennis ball is from the next.  

12 February 2020
You'd have to be an obsessive conformist without a shred of creativity or individuality, and no respect or care for engineering integrity (vis-a-vs cheating, unreliability, etc) to think this is a viable, let alone preferred, option.

11 February 2020

Seriously, why bother?


I'm sure the numbers will be higher to make you think you're getting some kinda improvement over the old one. Maybe +15Hp if you're lucky. 

11 February 2020

It looks like the designers have pulled off vehicle fraud, by doing a cut-and-shut.   Those extra doors do not work and the front-end design looks dated.  

11 February 2020
That is one ungainly front end. The Mk.7 R looks fantastic, this is a very unfortunate thing indeed.

11 February 2020

I'm sure its very capable, but, as a five door only, you can never get away from the family car look.

11 February 2020

 Is that a Seat Leon from the rear?, and, that front Bumper!?, what were they thinking?, is VW using SEAT parts now?

11 February 2020

Agreed it has too many doors. It also has the wrong gearbox, and its been hit with the ugly stick. It will sell well to those who bought the MK7.


11 February 2020

...the same pictures appear on the websites of several other UK car magazines.

13 February 2020
Damn those headlights ruin anything that could be attractive. So frumpy looking up front. Shame


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week