The production version of the Volkswagen Golf R400 concept has been spotted testing at the Nürburgring for the first time.
This test car features a widened front and rear track, as well as large wheels reminiscent of the original Golf R400 concept car. The photographing of this early prototype comes only weeks after VW technical chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser confirmed the model was entering development.
Interestingly, our spy photographers report hearing the what sounded like a five-cylinder engine on this test mule. While the car's powertrain hasn't been confirmed, it's expected to run the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine from the Golf R, which in the concept produced 395bhp and 332lb ft.
However, it's worth remembering that one of the R400's chief rivals, the Audi RS3, features a 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine producing 362bhp.
The R400 is all-wheel drive and uses a six-speed manual gearbox. It can hit 62mph from rest in just 3.9sec and reach a top speed of 174mph.
Neusser gave no indication of a launch date for the most potent Golf model yet.