Things looked promising. The Golf R 400 got the green light and barely a year after debut, VW bosses approved it for American showrooms. But then the diesel emissions scandal happened, and like so many other higher ups at the German company, Neusser found himself unemployed. With his resignation, insiders told Automotive News that VW shelved the Golf R 400. But despite the scandal, the German company isn't abandoning a higher-performance Golf model – it's just rethinking it.
For one, the company – the greater Volkswagen Group, that is – is still working hard on a production version of the Golf R's 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that could exceed 400 horsepower. If it makes production, it'd be under the hood of future Audi products, not VW ones, AN reports. But even though Volkswagen won't get the more potent EA888 engine, it may take a new approach to the Golf R.
Approach number one would breed a vehicle not all that different from today's Golf R. There'd be more power than today, but AN says it wouldn't be much more powerful than the current car. While this sounds delightful, we're more keen on the alternative plan, which would see engineers use lightweight materials to trim at least 300 pounds of body fat from the next-gen Golf R, due early next decade. This new model would weigh as much as today's GTI while also offering better power, handling, and braking.