And all other hot hatches, for that matter.
Volkswagen loves nothing more than to disrupt the high-performance hot hatch segment. The Golf R is proof. Both BMW M and Mercedes-AMG have clearly taken note, but here's the thing: VW forced both to up their games with the new BMW M2 and Mercedes-AMG A45 (the latter is sold in the US as CLA 45 four-door coupe). And for a sticker price of around $42,000, the Golf R is a solid bargain. But a new generation Golf is about to be unleashed and, in the not so distant future, a new Golf R. VW has been mum on details but Top Gear recently spoke with Jost Capito, Managing Director of Volkswagen R GmbH. Undeniably it's a huge task to outdo an already formidable AWD hot hatch package but that's the mission he's been assigned.
"The Golf GTI is a tiger," he explained, "whereas the Golf R is a black panther. More subtle, something you find easier to approach and want to get close to." Fair enough.
But already Jost has confirmed the next Golf R will lack two things many of its competitors already have: drift mode and four-wheel steering. "The Focus RS feels geared up for fun above everything. Drift mode is a free piece of technology that comes from the drive systems they're using. But it's not for us." As for four-wheel steering? "It's just not necessary on a car the size of Golf," Capito says.
We already knew the next Golf R will be more powerful than the current car's 296 hp, but we don't have a precise figure. All-wheel drive, of course, will remain standard.
But the fact that Jost and crew are not interested in a drift mode feature or four-wheel steering is quite interesting, although Jost has a fair point regarding the latter. Drift mode is becoming more common these days and Ford Focus RS owners have praised it. The fact that VW is skipping drift mode speaks volumes about the next Golf R's fun driving capabilities.
While Ford simply adds an electronic feature for better drifting, VW, it seems, intends to achieve the same by superior engineering.