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New 2020 Volkswagen Golf R spotted testing at the ‘Ring

Volkswagen’s latest range-topping Golf will make its debut later this year, with a 328bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine

The new Volkswagen Golf R is being pushed through the final phases of its development programme, ahead of its expected launch later this year. When it reaches the UK market, it’ll offer fresh competition for the likes of the Mercedes AMG A 35, the latest BMW M135i and the recently updated Honda Civic Type R.

Our latest spy shots show an uncamouflaged Volkswagen Golf R mule testing around the Nurburgring, giving us an unfiltered look at the finished product. These latest images show the car wearing a larger tailgate spoiler and wider side skirts – both of which should feature on the finished car.

New Volkswagen Golf R: design and interior

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Like its predecessors, the latest Volkswagen Golf R will be one of the most understated hot hatchbacks on the market. It’ll feature a body kit that’s broadly identical to the styling pack found on the regular Golf R-Line, with only a couple telltale additions.

Updates include a tweaked front bumper with new diagonal struts, broader side skirts with protruding aero vanes and a subtly redesigned rear bumper with an uprated rear diffuser and a larger-bore quad-exit exhaust. Its ride height is also significantly lower than the standard Golf’s, while larger, R-branded discs and calipers hide behind the car’s alloy wheels.

It’ll be a similar story inside. The latest Golf R’s interior will largely resemble that of the standard Golf, with the only noticeable upgrades being a pair of R-branded sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and fresh blue pinstriping for the dashboard and upholstery.

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The Mk8 Golf introduced a new infotainment standard for Volkswagen’s popular hatchback – and we expect the range-topping R model should take advantage of this, offering a digital instrument binnacle as standard. Volkswagen may also include its latest 10-inch infotainment screen as standard, which is an optional extra elsewhere in the Golf’s line-up. 

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New Volkswagen Golf R: engine and performance

Volkswagen’s latest Golf R will be powered by the same engine as the Golf GTI – a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit, codenamed “EA228” – although, it’ll have much more power than its lesser-badged sibling. 

A recently leaked internal document suggested that the latest Golf R will have an output of 328bhp. As such, it’ll be the most powerful version yet, boasting an extra 32bhp over the previous-generation model. This output will also suitably distance the range-topping Golf R from the mid-range Golf GTI, which produces 242bhp.

Other technical details are yet to be confirmed, but we expect the Golf R will send its power to Volkswagen’s familiar 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system via a seven-speed DSG gearbox only – no manual version of the Golf R is anticipated this time. The 0–62mph sprint should take around 4.5 seconds, while top speed will be electronically limited to 155mph.

New Volkswagen Golf R: price and on-sale date

It’s likely that the Golf R will be revealed this summer with UK sales likely to commence in early 2021. When it reaches Volkswagen showrooms, prices are likely to climb, given the extra power and new on-board technology. We anticipate a starting price of around £37,000.

What does the new Volkswagen Golf R have to beat? Check out our list of the best hot hatchbacks on sale now

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