Volkswagen’s R range of hotted-up models currently consists solely of the Golf R, but Auto Express reports that the in-house tuning brand will introduce an expanded lineup of more extreme models. Wolfsburg will drive up the horsepower count with its performance vehicles, which is currently seen as being behind rivals such as the Focus RS and especially the Mercedes-AMG A 45.

”The R brand is going extreme and can go extreme,” Volkswagen sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann told the publication during the Beijing Motor Show. “The role of R is that it can go beyond the pure rational. Nobody needs a compact car with 400 hp, but there is a place, certainly, and that’s the turf of R.”

A 400 hp Golf has been on and off the drawing board for some time, and the Mk8 version of the Golf R – which will remain a staple of the brand and is due next year – is expected to finally realise that plan. It could also receive a more extroverted design to better distinguish it from the mid-range GTI variant.

Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak shows “how powerful” VW EVs can get

“With a little more expressive design, R can go beyond the rational side of things,” Stackmann added. “It can find its place in a different league of pure performance and there’s a space where [customers] are willing to pay a significant amount of money.”

Company bosses have reportedly expressed interest in R versions of the T-Roc and Tiguan SUVs, and high-performance versions of Volkswagen’s I.D. range of electric vehicles are also on the cards. “The I.D. R that we put into Pikes Peak shows that the R strategy needs a dimension on the electric world,” Stackmann said. “It cannot stick to just conventional powertrain solutions – it is a new dimension to our brand.”

The I.D. R Pikes Peak develops 680 PS and 650 Nm of torque from an electric motor on each axle, and Steckmann said that the car shows “how powerful we can get with our MEB [electric platform] idea” and “where can we take the R idea when it comes to the [electric] family.”