There is hope for an even more potent Golf R variant yet, as the Volkswagen R performance vehicles division has resumed development efforts for a near-400 hp version that could sit atop the range, according to Autocar. Dubbed the Golf R Plus, this will be based on the forthcoming eighth-generation hatchback that will go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG A45 and the Audi RS3.

Previously, the hot Golf was initially presented as the R400 Concept at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, which then surfaced as a running development vehicle the following year. It then fell as one of numerous Dieselgate casualties the next year, before returning as an even more potent R420 (pictured, above) the year after that.

The Golf R Plus has not been officially approved for production, although Autocar has been told that it has the support of CEO Herbert Diess. Company officials also confirmed to the website that a styling proposal for the variant has been completed, and will appear more aggressive than the ‘standard’ Golf R with wider front wings and front track. With the Mk8 Golf set to be a five-door only, this will be the sole bodystyle for the Golf R and Golf R Plus.

Golf R400 Concept (left) and an early development car (right).

The forthcoming hot hatch will supposedly rely on hardware and technology from the seventh-generation Golf R400 concept as well as from the Volkswagen Motorsport-developed Golf TCR racer. The report adds that the currently unofficial model is being developed alongside the standard MK8 Golf R at the automaker’s Braunschweig, Germany research and development headquarters.

Volkswagen insiders have been quoted as saying that the forthcoming hot hatch will be ‘the most extreme and powerful Golf yet’, with its potential performance likely to build upon the 3.9-second 0-100 km/h time and 278 km/h top speed of the original R400. “We’re looking at introducing a new ‘halo’ performance model that would offer a level of performance beyond that of the next Golf R,” a source said.

The heart of the forthcoming top Golf is a heavily tuned iteration of the EA888 four-cylinder turbo petrol which produces 300 PS in the Mk7.5 Golf R following a retune for WLTP compliance; Malaysian-market models get 290 PS. Like those that have gone before it, the Golf R Plus will be all-wheel-drive.

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