Earlier this week we revealed you the first sketches, but today the all-new VW Golf R 400 Concept made its official debut at the Auto China show in Beijing. The new concept car is based on the flagship Golf R hatchback and was developed by the Volkswagen R GmbH. Just like the Golf R, it is powered by the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine (Type EA888), boosted from 300 to 400 hp and an impressive 450 Nm of torque available from 2,400 to 6,000 rpm.
Bolted to a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, the engine delivers the power to the four-wheel drive system and can push the vehicle from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds while the top speed is 174 mph or 280 km/h.
In order to achieve that power increase, Volkswagen added a new turbocharger with a higher maximum charge pressure and reinforced crankcase and a water-cooled exhaust gas feed to the turbocharger that reduces full-load fuel consumption.
With a total weight of 1,420 kg, the Golf R 400 Concept has the same weight as the standard Golf R, despite the power increase. Moreover, the concept is 20 mm wider than the standard Golf R, as it features flared wheelarches inspired by those on the 1988 Rallye Golf G60.
The wheelarches are painted in Silver Flake metallic and are in contrast with the gloss black roof and carbon door mirror caps. New sill extensions seamlessly bridge the gap between the widened arches. Under the wheelarches we find 19-inch alloy wheels, a development of the Cadiz wheels found on the Golf R.
The new wheels feature high-gloss back inserts that act as air vanes, helping to cool the reinforced braking system and are wrapped in 235/35 R19 tires. The front end of the vehicle features a new front bumper fitted with a carbon fiber splitter and an aerodynamic wing element. Moreover, we see the ‘R’ badge on the gloss black radiator grille sits a ‘Lemon Yellow’ background.
At the rear we find a black double spoiler with LED brake lights, a redesigned bumper includes new side vents and two centrally mounted tailpipes that replace the four standard tailpipes found on the Golf R. Inside, there are motorsport shell seats with integrated head restraints and belt openings.
The seats are upholstered in cross-quilted panels covered in Alcantara and ‘carbon leather’. Stitching throughout the interior is in contrasting ‘Lemon Yellow’.
Volkswagen revealed that the production version of the Golf R will be equipped with the sport suspension that will result in lowering the model’s ride height by 20 mm versus the base version of the Golf. However this same sport suspension was not modified in any way under the Golf R 400 mainly due to the large power reserve. However the two Golf R variants will come with the MacPherson-type suspension having lower wishbones for the front.
The rear meanwhile has the modular performance suspension, also known as multi-link suspension. In addition, the Golf R is fitted with the 4MOTION all-wheel drive. This has been perfected with different features like the Haldex-5 coupling, one that activates even before any slip happens. Further, this also practically prevents any loss of traction. The same system also utilizes a pre-control strategy that adapts on the specific driving state.
For example, when experiencing low road conditions, or even undergoing coastdown, the wheels in the front are able to channel majority of the propulsive power with the rear axle being decoupled. This may be considered as basic tuning but it also helps save on fuel. When needed, the rear axle of this vehicle can be variably engaged within fractions of a second.
Making this possible is the Haldex coupling activated through an electro-hydraulic oil pump. Though the Haldex coupling also functions as the central differential lock, its electronic differential locks (EDS) have been integrated to the Electronic Stability Control system (ESC) in order to act as the vehicle’s transverse differential locks.
For the Golf R 400 in particular, it has been fitted with XDS+ system not only on the front axles but even the rear ones. This same system helps brake the wheels at the bend’s inside, which usually occurs when driving fast through bends. By being a transverse differential lock, it allows the steering response to be optimized. Finally the Golf R 400 will also have the "ESC Sport" function, similar to the one in the production model.
The system can be activated using a two-stage switch placed on the center console. This “ESC Sport,” which is a mode of the model’s Electronic Stability Control, can be selected by merely pressing the button just once and briefly.
In a race course, where a lot of very fast driving happens while experiencing lots of bends, the ESC system does not interfere as it frequently results in making the handling properties even more agile. Should the button that activates the ESC be pressed for more than 3 seconds, this entire system is deactivated, a good option for professional drivers doing a run on a race course.