A Golf R 400 concept will be unveiled at this weekend’s Auto China show in Beijing, with the aim of seizing the hot-hatch crown back from Mercedes’ interloper.. the 355 bhp A45 AMG.

Based on the 296 bhp Golf R, power jumps by almost 100 bhp while the four-wheel drive, DSG-equipped R 400 cuts the standard car’s acceleration by a full second, with zero to 62 mph now covered in just 3.9 seconds. Top speed rises to the giddy heights of 174 mph.

At this stage Volkswagen say the Golf R 400 is merely a concept, with no plans to turn it into production, but the opportunity is clear and this is the second time this engine has been shown in public.

Last month, the Audi TT quattro sport concept was shown at Geneva, powered by a 414 bhp version of the company’s EA888 four-cylinder, 2.0-litre TFSI engine. That also delivered 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque between 2,400 and 6,300 rpm and could propel the lightweight Mk3 TT from zero to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds.


At the time Dr. Stefan Knirsch, Head of Powertrain Development, said “..this high-performance power unit is an impressive demonstration of the power reserves available in our EA888 engine range. The thirty-five years of experience we’ve gained in the field of turbocharging are manifested in this engine’s unique combination of maximum performance, dynamism, and fuel efficiency.”

In the TT 420 the engine features Audi valvelift system (AVS) variable valve timing, dual camshaft adjustment, and dual injection system (FSI plus MPI). Special aluminium pistons are used with integrated cooling channels, while a high-strength forged steel crankshaft contends with the engine’s higher torque.

The Golf R 400 stands apart from the standard Golf R with its flared wheelarches, uprated wheels and modified front and rear bumpers. The wheelarches were inspired by those on the 1988 Rallye Golf G60, and most of the concept is covered in ‘Silver Flake’ metallic paint, contrasting with its gloss black roof and carbon-fibre door mirror caps.


The interior is reworked to include motorsport shell seats with integral head restraints and ‘Lemon Yellow’ stitching on the doors and seats, while on the outside the ‘Lemon Yellow’ theme continues with the horizontal stripe across the grille.

We’ll have more news and pictures on Saturday after the R 400 concept is unveiled in Beijing.