While traditional wagons are losing ground to crossovers and SUVs, Volkswagen will launch a Variant version of the all-new Golf R.
Spotted undergoing testing at the Nurburgring, this prototype tried to pass as the Alltrack, with fake plastic cladding and cleverly placed vinyl stickers, but the blue brake calipers visible from behind the lightweight alloy wheels and quad exhaust pipes give it away.
The final production version, which will be marketed as a more practical and less expensive take on the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Shooting Brake, will look different, with a sportier front end, aggressive rear diffuser, beefier side skirts and perhaps larger roof-mounted spoiler. The body will also be adorned by the R logos.
More “R” branding will be found inside, alongside exclusive upholstery, sports steering wheel, aluminum pedals and dedicated ‘R’ button that will automatically select the sportiest settings for the suspension, gearbox and engine upon pushing it.
Four-cylinder turbo power and AWD
Like its predecessor, the new Golf R Variant will continue to use a 2.0-liter turbo-four, although it’s rumored to deliver a healthy 328 HP (333 PS / 245 kW). Power will be directed to the standard Haldex-based four-wheel drive system paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Helping put that power on the road will be VW’s XDS+ electronic differential locks and a stability control system, with some reports claiming that it will offer a drift mode similar to other German performance cars.
While the 2021 Golf R hot hatch has been confirmed for a world premiere on November 4, Volkswagen did not mention anything about the Golf R Variant. We could see VW lifting the curtain for both models at the same time, though we wouldn’t be surprised if the long-roof version is presented at a standalone event later next year.