A 400-horsepower Volkswagen Golf could be right around the corner

Volkswagen has revealed that it is close to deciding whether or not to build the wild Golf R400 concept (pictured) that was presented at last year’s Beijing Motor Show.

“We’re in front of a decision to produce it, and I personally think we have a good prospect to do it,” said Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen’s technical chief, in an interview with British magazine Autocar.

According to Neusser, the production model will be nearly identical to the concept, meaning it will stand out from the new Golf R thanks to a more aggressive body kit all around and a long list of aerodynamic add-ons crafted out of carbon fiber. The sport-focused upgrades will continue inside with features like bucket seats for the front passengers and a model-specific three-spoke steering wheel.

The R400 will pack an evolution of the Golf R’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that will be tuned to generate about 400 horsepower, making it the most powerful street-legal Golf ever produced by the factory by a long shot. Bolted to a six-speed manual transmission, the turbo four will send the R400 from zero to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds – a full second faster than the Golf R – and on to an Autobahn-worthy top speed of 174 mph.

The cavalry will be kept in check by a performance-tuned version of Volkswagen’s proven 4Motion all-wheel drive system, a heavily revised suspension setup and beefier brakes on all four corners.

If given the proverbial green light for production, the Volkswagen Golf R400 could be presented to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show that will open its doors next September. The searing-hot hatch will likely arrive as a limited-edition model with a base price that is expected to lie between $45,000 and $55,000.

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