Volkswagen has all sorts of performance flavors for its Golf model line. There’s the basic Golf model, the GTI for the car enthusiast, the Golf R for the performance enthusiast, and now the Golf R 400 Concept that’s the new performance poster child for the model lineup. Unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show, the new Golf R 400 showcases the ultimate potential of the Golf model and features everything from advanced all-wheel drive to motorsports-honed aerodynamics.
The special ‘400’ number in the Golf R 400 Concept points to the output of the 2.0 TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The engine develops 400 PS (394 horsepower) at 7,200 RPM and 332 lb-ft. of torque from 2,400 to 6,000 RPM, and pushes it to all four wheels thanks to a six-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission and permanent 4Motion all-wheel drive system. That output coupled with the 3,130 lbs. (1,420 kg) weight, creates a power-to-weight ratio of 3.55 kg/PS. This enables the Golf R 400 Concept to reach 62 mph in a mere 3.9 seconds and hits a top speed of 174 mph.
The advanced 4Motion all-wheel drive system utilizes a Haldex-5 coupling helps to prevent a loss of traction by activating before slip occurs. A pre-control strategy is employed where the system uses front-wheel drive to achieve better fuel economy during low-load or coasting, but activates the rear axles under higher loads and performance driving through the Haldex coupling. An electronic differential locks (EDS), electronic stability control (ESC), and XDS+ system work to provide maximum control and traction, even applying the brakes in hard corners to make the Golf R 400 more nimble.
The same sport suspension that’s 20 mm lower than the normal Golf model is used on the Golf R 400 and also uses the same 235/35 R 19-sized tires. However, the Golf R 400’s wheels are different, and based on the 19-inch ‘Cadiz’ production wheels with high-gloss inserts that act as air vanes to cool the high-performance reinforced brakes while spinning. The larger offset of the wheels required the body to be widened by 20 mm at the front and rear using flared panels that pay homage to the legendary Rallye Golf G60.
The exterior of the Golf R 400 is visually more dramatic and reflects the performance packed under the sheetmetal. A high-gloss black grille features an ‘R’ badge and ‘Lemon Yellow’ striping similar to the chrome, red, and blue lines found in the other performance Golf models. The entire front bumper was redesigned and features larger air intakes with matte carbon fiber wing-like elements and a motorsport-derived splitter at the front below a three-dimensional extended spoiler. Visual matte carbon fiber also adorns the side sills and mirrors between the extended wheel arches. At the rear sits a new bumper with motorsports splitter and diffuser between the R32-inspired dual 110 mm exhaust pipes that feature a honeycomb design inside. C-shaped carbon inlays make up the air outlet at the bottom of the bumper and aid in cooling. At the top of the Golf R 400 sits a dual rear spoiler with integrated LED lighting and two “flying” spoilers for better downforce.
Inside, the theme is motorsport. The shell seats with integrated head restraints and belt openings wear Alcantara cross-quilted middle panels and outer carbon leather shells with ‘Lemon Yellow’ stitching to match the exterior and ‘R’ badges embroidered on the backrests. Each of the rear individual seats in the Golf R 400 wear the same design, while the middle is adorned in black nappa leather. A glossy piano black finish graces the center console, dashboard and around the air outlets, while carbon leather covers the sport steering wheel with decorative stitching. Carbon leather door panels and stainless steel side sills greet passengers and lend to a sportier atmosphere.
There’s no word on whether or not Volkswagen will produce the Golf R 400 Concept, but if enough pressure is put on the German automaker by its rabid fanbase, it might do a limited-run of the high-performance model. Our fingers will be crossed.
Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept Specifications
Displacement: 2.0 liters
Number of Cylinders: Inline-four
Maximum Horsepower: 394 / 400 PS at 7,200 RPM
Maximum Torque: 332 lb-ft. / 450 Nm from 2,400 to 6,000 RPM
Type: Six-speed dual clutch
Drive: 4Motion permanent all-wheel drive
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 3.9 seconds
Top Speed: 174 mph / 280 km/h (electronically-limited)
Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept Gallery