The range-topper for the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf has now been seen by our spy photographers, shorn of camouflage. Following the sighting of the Mk8 Golf GTI TCR earlier this week which will be the most potent of the GTI variants, the R ups the ante by another 33 PS for a total of 333 PS.

The most powerful eighth-generation Golf yet wears a familiar set of R clothing; starting from the front end, the bumper sports a trio of large intakes though with most of the Golf’s front bodywork appearing unchanged. Rolling stock will certainly be larger items to house the enlarged brakes with signature blue R calipers, the units on the development car here filling out the winter wheel-and-tyre combination.

Around to the back end, the rear bumper and exhaust pipes continue to serve as Golf R identifying cues, with a diffuser assembly housing the quartet of round exhaust outlets. Inside, the Mk8 Golf R can be expected to employ constrasting blue visual elements to match the R theme, likely with sportier seats along with the requisite R badging across the cabin.

The aforementioned 333 PS is produced from the latest iteration of the company’s EA888 turbocharged inline-four engine, sending drive to all four wheels via a Haldex-based all-wheel-drive system and a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox. A manual isn’t expected to feature this time around, according to Autocar, adding that the Mk8 Golf R is earmarked for debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this July.

An earlier leaked presentation slide showed the Golf R to be the top, most powerful version of the popular hatchback, though a rumour persists that an even more powerful Golf R ‘Plus’ hasn’t been completely taken off the table, the British magazine reported.

Earlier spyshots of development cars based on the previous-generation, Mk7 model show that the likely-400 PS version is well advanced, and that would take the Golf head-to-head with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S and the forthcoming Audi RS3. The Mk7-based project was cancelled in the aftermath of the Dieselgate scandal.