Autoblog has been speaking to the heads of Volkswagen’s R Division who say the future for performance VWs is Diesel and 4WD.
The VW Golf R is the perfect, grown-up hot hatch. With its more parsimonious 4-pot engine (down from a V6 in the last top-end Golf), great performance and 4WD it’s the connoisseurs hot-hatch.
But it looks like the zippy 4-pot in the current Golf R may well be the last petrol-engined Golf R, as VWs R Division bosses see diesel power as the future for VW R cars.
In conversation with Autoblog, Ulrich Richter and Hendrik Muth - respectively the R Division’s Executive Director and Marketing Head – said that the future for R Division cars is diesel and 4WD.
Richter went on to say that although hybrids have a place in modern cars, the benefits are very small in comparison to weight saving. So as well as going for grunt with diesel instead of zip with petrol, VW R will be looking to save weight on their cars.
That would, logically, mean liberal use of carbon fibre. But carbon fibre may be all very well on high-end cars, but the cost implications on a VW are horrible. So expect to see far more aluminium to save weight on VW’s R cars in future.
Richter also said that the R Division could take any VW product and turn it in to an R car. Which begs the question – why do we have so many VW R-Line cars with all show and no extra go? Surely, if Richter’s assertion is right, there must be a lot of sense in offering proper R versions across the VW range?
Still, although we’ll miss the 4-pot, 2.0 litre, 265bhp Golf R when it goes, the thought of a lighter Golf R with a powerful diesel lump – and extra grunt – is appealing, not to mention economy in the 50mpg range instead of 30mpg.
(27 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)