As promised, the Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept made its high-intensity debut in Beijing offering a look at the potential lurking within the production Golf R model. Based on the latest 3-door Golf R model, it boasts purposeful revamps to its bodywork and cabin plus a major bump in power that takes its turbocharged 2.0-liter EA888 4-cylinder engine to 395 horses - a huge 95-hp edge over the standard model. While a one-off at the moment, this hotter-than-hot hatch appears to have real-world potential.
Not surprisingly, the aggressive character of the Golf R 400 Concept is heavily influenced by motorsport. Beyond bolder fascia treatments, a deeper carbon fiber front splitter and prominent rear diffuser that features huge twin central exhaust outlets, the R 400 Concept boasts unique side sills, a dual-element rear spoiler and more pronounced fender flare to accommodate its 19-inch wheels and 235/35 performance tires. The Silver Flake metallic paint is set off by Gloss Black and Lemon Yellow accent trim. The cabin of the R 400 Concept reprises the competition theme with racing-style shell front seats covered in Alcantara and carbon-look leather with Lemon Yellow contrast stitching. Nappa leather and various carbon-look accent bits round out the interior treatment.
Twin Clutch Transmission
Complementing its more potent engine -- that also cranks out a heady 332 lb-ft of torque -- the Golf R 400 has a 6-speed DSG automatic transmission that ships power to all four wheels via VW's 4Motion AWD system and lets the car sprint from 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and head on up to a 174-mph top speed. In addition to a torque-transferring Haldex coupling that functions like a center differential lock, this production-derived package also includes Electronic Differential Locks (EDS) integrated into its Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system that act as transverse locking devices as well as the XDS+ system at each axle that can brake an inside wheel to increase stability and steering response in a corner. For ultimate track driving, it too, features a driver-selectable "ESC Sport" mode that will roll back or fully shut down the stability control system.
Volkswagen remains mum on the chances of a limited-production version of the Golf R 400 Concept ever hitting the showrooms. But the technology is obviously ready and cars like the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and upcoming Audi RS3 clearly indicate this is a viable market sub-niche for the right product.
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