VW wanted to use Audi's five-cylinder turbo that powers the RS3.
Now that the new 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI has broken cover, the wait for the next-generation Golf R has begun. According to leaked documents, the new hardcore Golf R will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 328 horsepower. That's a significant boost over the current Golf R, which has 291 horsepower on tap. However, the new Golf R nearly had a different engine under the hood with even more power.
According to a report by Dutch magazine Autovisie, VW originally planned to utilize Audi's five-cylinder turbo engine that powers the RS3, TT RS, and RSQ3. But when VW approached Audi about using the company's 2.5-liter TFSI engine, the request was swiftly denied.
The Golf R is a direct competitor to Audi Sport, so it's hardly surprising that Audi refused to let VW use its five-cylinder powerplant. Donkervoort and KTM also use Audi's five-cylinder engine, but this is "good for the Audi image" according to the publication's inside source.
Another issue is that Audi doesn't have the production capacity to accommodate the Golf R as manufacturing the five-cylinder "is very laborious" according to the source. "This makes it very drastic to increase the volumes."
Potentially, the Golf R could have had nearly 400 horsepower since Audi's five-cylinder turbo produces 394 horsepower in the TT RS and RS3.
Do not despair though, because an even more hardcore Golf R could be on the horizon. Reports claim Volkswagen is cooking up a hot R Plus variant, but it could still have less power than the RS3. Originally, the Golf R Plus was expected to have 400 horsepower like the R400 concept but the output will reportedly be reduced to around 350 hp.
VW's hardcore hot hatch was also supposed to debut at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, but the coronavirus pandemic will most likely delay those plans.