A VW owns Porsche

A re­minder from the 911-beat­ing Golf

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - JOSHUA DOWLING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDI­TOR joshua.dowling@news.com.au Twit­ter: @Joshuadowl­ing

VOLK­SWA­GEN has un­veiled the fastest-ever Golf — with a blis­ter­ing 0-100km/h time of 3.9 sec­onds, it’s faster than a Porsche 911.

It might ac­cel­er­ate in the blink of an eye but it’s no flight of fancy. If spy pho­tos from the Nur­bur­gring are a guide, the mega-Golf is des­tined for pro­duc­tion.

The Golf R 400 con­cept was un­veiled at this week’s Bei­jing mo­tor show, about a fort­night af­ter a thinly dis­guised su­per­fast Golf was caught on cam­era do­ing high-speed test­ing at the renowned Ger­man race­track.

At the time, Volk­swa­gen wouldn’t com­ment on the “red rocket” test car, which had been plas­tered with stick­ers from an af­ter­mar­ket tun­ing com­pany to try to put en­thu­si­asts off the scent.

But the com­pany re­vealed all at China’s big­gest auto show.

The Golf R 400 con­cept (sig­ni­fy­ing 400 horse­power, even though it has “only” 395hp in this tun­ing) is fit­ted with an up­rated 2.0-litre tur­bocharged four-cylin­der (295kW/450Nm) which pow­ers a high- per­for­mance all-wheel-drive setup. Top speed has in­creased from 250km/h to 280km/h, but Volk­swa­gen has in­di­cated it could reach even higher speeds, that greater ve­loc­ity be­ing gov­erned by a self-im­posed, built-in lim­iter.

Ei­ther way, the Golf R 400, un­veiled on the 40th an­niver­sary of the Golf, is des­tined to be the fastest hatch­back yet.

The Golf R 400 has shed about 100kg — de­spite re­tain­ing its all-wheel drive and dual-clutch gear­box, it weighs just 1420kg.

For the tech­ni­cally minded, Volk­swa­gen claims its weightto-power ra­tio is 3.55kg per horse­power.

The Golf R 400 re­tains the reg­u­lar Golf R’s ride height but has be­spoke 19-inch wheels.

De­sign­ers went to town on the front and rear end ap­pear­ance and twin, cen­trally mounted ex­haust tips re­turn to the Golf R with the con­cept car.

A big rear wing at the top of the hatch helps keep the car planted at high speeds (as ev­i­denced by a sim­i­lar wing spotted on the test car at the Nur­bur­gring).

In­side, light­weight rac­ing seats act as a rea­son­able counter to the G-forces gen­er­ated in cor­ners.

Volk­swa­gen isn’t say­ing when the Golf R 400 will go on sale. At the mo­ment the com­pany is still stick­ing with the “it’s a con­cept only” line.

But Volk­swa­gen wouldn’t be belt­ing around the Nur­bur­gring in a car that looks as if it has a lot of the in­gre­di­ents for the R 400 un­less it was se­ri­ous about mak­ing it to show­rooms — at this rate, ex­pect it in about 18 months.

How­ever, whether Aus­tralia gets the Golf R 400 is an­other ques­tion al­to­gether.

Volk­swa­gen Aus­tralia is in the process of ra­tio­nal­is­ing its range (it has just axed the Up city car, the Eos con­vert­ible and the Scirocco R hatch).

Here’s hop­ing the R 400 fills the gap left by the Scirocco R.

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