New 328bhp 2020 Volkswagen Golf R spied with no disguise

Covers come off next hot Volkswagen Golf R in unofficial capacity, but GTI variant will break cover first

The next Volkswagen Golf R won’t be officially revealed for some time yet, but our spy photographers have caught it completely undisguised during its winter development testing programme. 

Like the outgoing Golf R, the newcomer won’t wear an overtly aggressive bodykit. Instead it’ll opt for a more understated look that’ll be a subtly sportier take on regular R-Line versions of the Golf. 

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In these new shots the only real giveaway that this is the flagship hatchback will be body-coloured diagonal struts within the larger front bumper, while around the back quad-tailpipes can be seen. Look closely and beefier brakes with coloured calipers can also be picked out hinting at the performance potential.

A recently leaked internal document confirmed the Golf R will have an output of 328bhp – making it the most powerful variant yet with 32bhp more than the previous-generation model. The upcoming GTI variant – to be revealed in the coming weeks – will sit below it in terms of power.

Other technical details are yet to be confirmed, but it’s highly likely that the Golf R will put its power to the road via a seven-speed DSG gearbox and VW’s familiar 4MOTION four-wheel-drive system. Expect a 0-62mph time around the 4.5-second mark. 

For this iteration of the Golf R, a mild hybrid system could help deliver the extra performance. Unlike lesser versions of the new Golf, which provide a small electrical boost to reduce load on the combustion engine, it’s likely that the next R’s hybrid assistance will come in the form of an electrical compressor. Similar in principle to the system used by the Audi S6, this should help to all but eliminate turbo lag.

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