What Is It?

The Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept is the ultimate hot hatchback. Officially just a concept car, the Golf R 400 is making its debut in Beijing with a tremendously powerful engine, all-wheel drive and a series of exterior upgrades designed to set it apart from a standard Volkswagen Golf.

For most enthusiasts, the most important part is under the hood. Oh, sure, the Golf R 400 "only" has a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, just like the Volkswagen GTI. But in the Golf R 400, that engine is tuned for a whopping 395 horsepower, nearly double the GTI's output. That figure, combined with an impressive 332 lb-ft of torque, results in a supercar-like 0-to-60 time of just 3.9 seconds and an amazing top speed of more than 170 miles per hour.

But the Golf R isn't all about engine power. It also boasts several other upgrades under the skin, ranging from larger 19-inch alloy wheels to standard all-wheel drive. Unfortunately, Volkswagen hasn't detailed any improvements to the car's suspension or braking capabilities, though we suspect the Golf R boasts more than a few.

On the outside, updates to the hot hatchback are a little more obvious. There's a unique Silver Flake paint finish with several yellow accents. There's a huge front air dam, likely to help keep the powerful turbocharged engine supplied with air. And there is a handful of bold styling cues throughout the exterior, ranging from dual exhausts to a larger rear bumper.

Will They Ever Sell It?

Although we'd be surprised to see a Golf ever reach production with this much horsepower, we're probably not the only ones who wouldn't mind taking the Golf R 400 Concept for a spin.

Why It's Important

With its recent move to more mainstream vehicles, Volkswagen risks alienating longtime customers who appreciate the brand's unique performance cars and quirky spirit. The Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept helps keep those customers interested by proving that Volkswagen isn't about to give up on high-performance cars, even as it focuses on increasing its volume.

The Golf R 400 Concept is also important because it shows what Volkswagen can do in the performance realm. While it may not make production, the Golf R 400 Concept teases the road that the brand may follow when creating the next-generation GTI and Golf R.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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