New Volkswagen Golf R to launch as 329bhp mega-hatch

2024 Volkswagen Golf R prototype on ice in Austria 6 large
2024 Volkswagen Golf R prototype on ice in Austria 6 large

New Golf R will be revealed in summer

The new Volkswagen Golf R is set to be among the final petrol-powered R-badged models as the performance brand prepares to go all-electric by 2030.

Wearing a new look and featuring the same overhauled cabin as the other Mk8.5 Golf models, the four-wheel-drive mega-hatch is tipped to produce 329bhp – up from 316bhp in the outgoing car – in line with the closely related Audi S3, with a small torque boost to 310lb ft.

Volkswagen previously showed the R in public for the first time, putting it on display in prototype form – alongside the already-revealed GTI, GTE and eHybrid variants – at the Zell am See ice race in Austria earlier this year.


Wearing a commemorative '50 years of Golf' camouflage livery, the new car took to the ice circuit as part of a celebration of Volkswagen's four-wheel-drive performance brand, ahead of its full unveiling this summer.

Head of the division Reinhold Ivan said: “Volkswagen R is Volkswagen’s premium performance brand and has stood for sportiness and dynamic performance for more than 20 years. Here at the Ice Race, the past meets the future. We can hardly wait for the Golf R, still disguised here, to celebrate its premiere this summer.”

Like the standard Golf and GTI, the R has not been visually reinvented, but will follow them in gaining a new interior that seeks to right criticisms of the eighth-generation Golf line-up, with a new infotainment system, the reintroduction of physical buttons and a raft of higher-quality cabin materials.

It will be marked out externally from the current R by a new illuminated Volkswagen emblem and new-generation LED matrix headlights - alongside, no doubt, extra colour and trim options - including the new R-badged alloys worn by this prototype.

VW has given no indication of specific performance figures, but 2022's special-edition Golf R 333 – the most expensive Golf yet sold – had a top speed of 167mph and a 0-62mph sprint time of 4.6secs.

The firm has shown the R in hatchback form, but earlier prototype sightings confirm that the Golf R estate will make a return as a rival to the recently updated Mercedes CLA 35 shooting brake.

Prices will be given closer to launch, but a slight premium over the current £43,215 is expected.