Pictures have emerged that hint at what Volkswagen’s impending Golf R400 might feature when it reaches production.
Spotted lapping a roundabout in Nurburg, a town in Germany home to the well-known Nürburgring, was what looked like the 294kW super Golf Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, VW’s powertrain boss, confirmed for production at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
There aren’t any concrete giveaways to suggest it is the actual R400, however, closer inspection of photos seen on Motortrend reveals the mule packs more performance than its demure exterior suggests.
Up front, peering through the front grille is an enlarged and obvious radiator, something a Golf R EA888 2.0-litre engine producing 294kW and 450Nm – some 88kW and 70Nm more than stock—would need to cool its extra mumbo.
Also noticeable are its front guards, which look significantly wider than the items found on the current 206kW Golf R, and suggest the Golf R400 will wear a wider track and footprint to help ground its power.
Extra speed needs slowing down, of course, and behind the R400 mule’s front Speedline wheels feature cross drilled flower-shaped brake discs gnawed by big fixed-piston calipers.
Besides the wider tread the tyres themselves look more serious than the R’s standard items, the Michelins sporting aggressive shoulder blocks.
Wider guards also shelter the rear wheels, a more subtle addition compared to the large rear wing that shares similarities with the item VW stuck on its “near-production” Worthersee-revealed Golf GTI Clubsport.
VW’s R400 concept first debuted at the Beijing Motor Show with its 294kW/450Nm outputs matched to a six-speed DSG transmission. More recently, however, rumours are circulating that when the car launches at the end of 2015 it may even sport up to 420PS, or 309kW.
MOTOR’s well aware of the competitive nature the Volkswagen Audi Group likes to instil within its brands. And with the 270kW Audi RS3 raising the bar for hot hatches earlier this year, it seems fans are the ones who win from this family rivalry.
More photos of the Golf R400 mule can be found at Motortrend.