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400-horsepower VW Golf R to make North American debut in LA

Volkswagen has announced the Golf R 400 concept that was presented last April at the Beijing Motor Show will make its North American debut next week in Los Angeles.

Power for the R 400 comes from a 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder engine tuned to produce 394 horsepower at 7,200 rpms and 332 pound-feet of torque between 2,400 and 6,000 rpms. Packed with technology gleaned from Volkswagen’s successful WRC program, the four-cylinder propels the 3,130-pound Golf R 400 from zero to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and on to an Autobahn-worthy top speed of 173 mph.

The TSI spins all four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and a high-performance version of Volkswagen’s 4Motion permanent all-wheel drive system. The suspension setup is carried over essentially unchanged from the Golf R but the track has been increased by 0.8 inches.

Related: More R-badged VWs on the way? 

Visually, the R 400 stands out from the stock Golf R thanks to a silver flake paint job with black and lemon yellow accents, a gloss black roof panel, mirror caps crafted out of carbon fiber and a functional air diffuser integrated into the rear bumper. The hatchback rides on 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels wrapped by low-profile tires.

The track-inspired treatment continues inside with front bucket seats upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara as well as carbon fiber trim on the steering wheel, the door panels and the center console.

Officially, the Golf R 400 is merely a design study built to showcase the potential of Volkswagen’s EA888 2.0-liter turbo four. However, rumors circulating around the auto industry indicate the hot hatch will enter production next year as a regular-production model.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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