Volkswagen’s heavily rumoured, A45-fighting Golf R Plus could at last come to fruition in 2023 as a 300kW hybrid, if a new report from Australian magazine publication Wheels is to be believed.
Despite the presence of a seemingly suitable engine already within the Volkswagen Group – namely Audi’s 294kW, 2.5-litre five-cylinder, as used by the RS 3, RS Q3 and TT RS – an ultra high-performance, AWD Golf would instead use a variation of the existing 2.0-litre ‘EA888’ turbocharged four-cylinder, which in the upcoming Mk8 version of the ‘standard’ Golf R is rumoured to produce 245kW.
However, while the magic 300kW output could be achieved with the 2.0-litre engine alone, Wheels reports Volkswagen executives are exploring electrified options, in order to deliver ample performance while meeting the EU’s strict 95g/km CO2 emissions targets.
One option would see the R Plus run a similar setup to the GTI First Decade concept shown at the 2017 Wörthersee meet, with the petrol engine driving the front wheels and the electric motor(s) powering the rears – eliminating the need for a mechanical driveshaft.
Sadly, such a model has yet to be officially signed off by the Volkswagen board, meaning any potential market launch would occur no earlier than 2023 or 2024.
According to Wheels, a ‘styling proposal’ for the R Plus has done the rounds within Volkswagen, depicting a five-door hatch with inflated guards to house a wider track, contributing to ‘significant visual differentiation’ from the ‘base’ R.
Models that have been approved for production within the performance Golf range include the GTI, GTE and GTD front-drivers – all three revealed prior to the ill-fated Geneva motor show last month.
Previous rumours have suggested the all-paw Golf R will make its debut in July – though the spread of COVID-19 places that estimate in doubt – to be joined later by a spicier GTI TCR, expected to mate a 221kW turbo-four driving the front wheels with beefier brakes, stiffer suspension, additional cooling and stickier tyres for an enhanced experience on the racetrack.
Stay tuned to Redline for all the hot Golf related news.
Report source: Wheels magazine, April 2020