A VW owns Porsche
A reminder from the 911-beating Golf
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.