2020 Volkswagen Golf R Mk8 spied ahead of reveal

Next-generation VW Golf R spotted cold weather testing prior to official launch

The eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf is just about to hit our roads, and as always, this means that performance variants won’t be far behind. We’ve already seen unofficial images of the middling GTI, and these recent photos have given us our first glimpse at the full-fat R.

Spotted almost entirely free of camouflage whilst undergoing cold weather tests, the Mk8 Golf R sports the changes we’ve come to expect from the range-topping hatch. A more aggressive front bumper with larger intakes, larger wheels to cover the uprated set of brakes, and a new diffuser to house the trademark quad exhaust tips can all be seen.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

> New Volkswagen Golf GTI to be revealed at Geneva motor show

What lies under the bonnet is still to be confirmed, but despite the dawn of the hybridised performance car, an unassisted powertrain featuring the 2-litre turbocharged EA888 four-pot seen is most likely.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Volkswagen’s sales and marketing boss, Jürgen Stackmann, previously said that the next-generation Mk8 Golf R could be pushed to around 400bhp: ‘With a little more expressive design, R can go beyond the rational side of things. It [the R brand] can find its place in a different league of pure performance and there’s a space where customers are willing to pay a significant amount of money.’

A recent leaked image posted to social media seems to suggest first cars won’t hit this, but a future inclusion of hybrid tech could push numbers higher. Though not confirmed by Volkswagen, the image disclosed a power figure of 345bhp for the Mk8 Golf R, up almost 50bhp on the current generation – this would put it just below the non-S A45, and above the current Audi S3.

> Volkswagen ID.3 R to receive tech from track-only ID.R 

The timeline for the performance Mk8 Golf line-up has already begun, with the 242bhp, plug-in hybrid GTE already out in the open. The GTI is set to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March alongside the GTD, with the range-topping R to come later this year with the GTI TCR.

The Mk8 Golf R will lead the charge in Wolfsburg’s new high-performance model line-up, with the R name expected to be seen on a number of new models over the coming years. Bosses have even confirmed the possibility of a hot version of VW’s new, all-electric ID.3.



Mercedes CLA45 AMG hatchback

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S coupe UK review

28 Mar 2020
SEAT Leon Cupra

335bhp Cupra Leon Competicion adopts 3D printed components

26 Mar 2020
SEAT Leon Cupra hatchback

​SEAT Leon Cupra review - more excitement than a Golf GTI?

25 Mar 2020
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N review - a great first try at hot hatch heroics

25 Mar 2020

Most Popular

Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020
Land Rover Defender

New Land Rover Defender X P400 review

Land Rover’s all new Defender proves to be worth the wait and is now as capable on road as it is off it. It’s no driver’s car but as a do everything m…
25 Mar 2020

1200bhp Hennessey C8 Corvette shown testing on video

The C8 Corvette has only just hit showrooms, but Hennessey Performance already has big plans...
26 Mar 2020
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019