Last month, we were teased with clues for the next Volkswagen Golf R in the form of the 2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R, a 296 horsepower crossover we’re not likely to get in the U.S. But now the company has confirmed that the guts of that car do preview the next Golf R, and maybe more R models to come.
Top Gear spoke to Jost Capito, the boss of Volkswagen’s R performance division, who claims the new T-Roc R drives better than the outgoing Golf R:
“I believe this car drives better than the Golf R,” VW’s R division boss, Jost Capito, bullishly tells us. Well of course he would; it’s the newer car. But it still surprised us that he’s so certain of it when you’d naturally expect a heavier, taller car to suffer compromise.
“Of course there’s a higher centre of gravity, but I would say that’s the only difference. The rest of the chassis setup you can do exactly the same.”
Of course, that’s only because the T-Roc R has all the new developments, which Capito claims includes:
“We changed the stiffness of the front of the car, we changed all the engine mounts and gearbox mounts, we made them all stiffer… it feels more direct. We had the basis with the Golf R but we modified everything.”
So look forward to those upgrades on the next-generation Golf R, and also maybe some more cars in the lineup. Just brace yourself, because they’ll probably be crossovers. More from Top Gear:
“I think it’s going to be much wider in the line-up,” he says. But still no Polo. “With R you have four-wheel drive, and you don’t have four-wheel drive in the Polo platform. I also think the effort and the money you put in works from the Golf size of car upwards.”
“The crown jewel of performance in a Golf remains Golf R,” he told us. “We don’t want to take hybrids to a ridiculous strength. A hybrid needs to be affordable, and have an ecological reasoning. It’s not just for performance. The GTE is an alternative choice for a GTI customer, and that will remain. The performance king will remain a Golf R, and the Golf 8 R is going to be fantastic.”
Sadly, Capito confirmed that the previously teased Golf R400 just isn’t going to happen, as VW thinks they’d struggle to find a consumer for it. Capito claimed the cost of ownership goes up while the potential sales volume drops considerably. Oh well.
Capito also dove into talk of hybrids, claiming an upcoming GTE model would be more inline with the GTI’s performance, and the two would be alternate options for people shopping in that performance range. Meanwhile, the Golf R would remain the “crown jewel of performance in the a Golf,” promising that the R based on the upcoming eighth generation of the Golf will be “fantastic.”
But he would say that, wouldn’t he? Anyway, which Volkswagen models in the U.S. would you like to see get the R treatment? If they had a damn truck I’d be the first to point my finger in its direction. Or the Beetle, which is dead. What am I going to do with an Atlas R?