THE Volkswagen Golf R400, Wolfsberg's answer to the dragon-slaying Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, is set to surface within the next 18 months.
Fuelling a German small-car power war that is likely to see the fastest production Golf in history top 300kW by the time it arrives in Australia, the R400 is already in the prototype phase undergoing final shakedown.
While German Volkswagen spokespersons refused to confirm that it has been given the green light, Wolfsburg-based public relations manager Christophe Peine told Australian journalists at the Golf R wagon and Alltrack drive in Spain this week that feasibility studies are continuing.
“No decision has been taken about the (R400) coming to market,” he said through a translator. “It has just been confirmed but it is still in the concept and development phase.
“We have driven prototypes and tested it for feasibility to see how a 400 horsepower puts its power through to its wheels… but we have to see whether it will continue (on to production). We will assess it on a case-by-case basis.”
Earlier this week, Volkswagen’s head of powertrain, Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, told CAR magazine in the UK that “we will do this car”, though specifics about power and launch timing have yet to be announced.
Volkswagen unveiled the Golf R400 Concept at the 2014 Beijing motor show, promising sub-4.0 second 0-100km/h performance.
If the hottest Golf ever was to make it to Australia, pricing would put it within range of the $75,700 A45 AMG, making it also the exxiest Golf in history.