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BMW M And Mercedes-AMG Have A Volkswagen Golf R Problem

Hot Hatch / 9 Comments

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.

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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 added. 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.

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