As rivals from Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW up their hot hatch game, Volkswagen has been left in the dust with its refined yet somewhat-underpowered Golf R. No more, says VW sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackman.

The eighth-generation VW Golf will spawn a range-topping R model that’ll make previous iterations look tame in comparison.

Speaking to Auto Express, Stackman said that VW’s R brand needs to ditch its rational image.

“The R brand is going extreme. The role of R is that it can go beyond the rational; nobody needs a compact car with 400bhp, but is there a place [for it?]. Certainly, and that’s the turf of R,” he said.

Big changes are coming

The next Golf R will be powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine like the current car. However, comprehensive modifications will increase output up to 400 hp, putting it right up there with the Audi RS3 and next-generation Mercedes-AMG A45.

Interestingly, it is possible that Volkswagen will also employ some sort of hybrid technology in the hatch. A 48-volt system could feature, providing the car with an electrical boost under hard acceleration. Along with a further developed seven-speed dual clutch transmission and 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, the Mk8 Golf R promises to be an entirely different beast to the current model.

Volkswagen is also tipped to transform the vehicle’s exterior to ensure it looks just as extreme as it drives. Consequently, customers should expect to see aggressive front and rear bumpers, a plethora of carbon fiber accents and large tailpipes.

The Mk8 Golf will hit the market next year, while the R variant should be revealed later on, in all likelihood after the GTI.

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