New 2020 Volkswagen Golf R unwrapped for Nurburgring tests

Hottest Mk8 Golf laps the Nordschleife in production form ahead of its expected debut in July.

Following the recent unveiling of Volkswagen’s new Golf GTI, attention is turning to the even hotter Golf R variant as it’s spotted with no disguise at the Nurburgring.

Spy photographers have caught a prototype with no camouflage as it undergoes final performance testing at the German track. We can see the new model sticks to the formula of its predecessor, with understated performance the order of the day.

Tell-tale R design cues include quad tailpipes at the rear, an enlarged lower air intake and an R-specific wheel design covering performance brakes with blue-painted callipers. Also visible in these new images is a bespoke, performance-oriented seat design with coloured inserts.

Although not yet confirmed, power outputs for all of the hot Mk8 Golf variants (the GTI, GTI TCR, GTD and R) leaked out earlier this year through a slideshow from a brand presentation.

The slide revealed that the R will put out 245kW – a 25kW increase – from a heavily boosted version of the EA888 turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol motor. As before, this will be put through a Haldex-based all-wheel drive system and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. A manual isn’t expected to be offered.

The new Haldex system is said to be capable of fully variable control constantly altering the drive sent to the front ad rear axles, in combination with Volkswagen’s XDS+ electronic differential locks and a stability control system that, insiders claim, will incorporate a drift mode similar to that of the Mercedes-AMG A45.

While it’s not official yet, Automotive Daily understands that the 2020 Golf R had been planned for an unveiling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, which has recently been rescheduled from July to September. What’s not yet clear is if a long-rumoured flagship Golf R Plus, expected to produce as much as 300kW, will be saved for a debut next year or even later.

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