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Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept: Beijing Auto Show


author photo by Doug DeMuro April 2014

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.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept: Beijing Auto Show - Autotrader