VW Golf R400 3

A year on from its Auto China 2014 debut, the rabid Volkswagen Golf R 400 appears to be progressing nicely from show stand to showroom – our European spies have spotted a development mule around the Nürburgring’s peripheral roads, pretty much confirming a previous report that the car has received the green light for production.

The prototype sighted looks like a “regular” Golf R at first glance, but a closer inspection reveals a few telltale signs that this car means business. The wider wheels – Lamborghini Gallardo-like Speedline Corse SL3’s shod with track-biased Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres – are immediately apparent, but they also hide larger brakes (the lightweight wavy front discs appear to have been nicked from an Audi RS4).

VW Golf R400 9

Also clear to see are wider wheel arch bulges to clear the wheels, a small front splitter and a rear wing that appears to be even larger than the one on the concept. Of course, there’s also a more prominent intercooler aft of the lower front intake that hints of the car’s performance potential.

That would most likely come from the same 2.0 litre turbocharged TSI four-pot as on the concept – there, it develops 400 PS and 450 Nm, sent to all four wheels through a six-speed DSG. If recent reports are to be believed, the production version could actually end up with even more power – rumoured to be 420 PS, shared with the Audi TT quattro sport concept – which would gain it an R 420 badge instead.