The launch of a new Volkswagen Golf is never a small thing, and things are already looking up for the subcompact hatchback after it was named 2013 World Car of the Year. While we've already seen the base and GTI versions of the next-generation Golf, now we're getting our first look at the sportier Golf R.

Although this prototype wears GTI lettering on the front fenders, it's more than just the roll cage and Sparco racing seat hinting that this is something a little more serious. Unlike the Golf and GTI, this car shows that the Golf R will continue to flaunt massive air intakes on each side of the fascia, and the rear of the car (though it's hard to see) has quadruple exhaust outlets. We still don't have an official word on power, but rumors indicate that the next Golf R could be pushing close to 300 horsepower, making it the most powerful production Golf ever. As much fun as we had during our first drive of the Golf R Cabriolet in the cold, snowy French Riviera last month, more power is a warming idea.