New 329bhp Volkswagen Golf R estate on the way

New VW Golf R estate spied in Golf Alltrack disguise

  • Next Golf R hatchback and estate in development
  • Likely to have 329bhp
  • Four-wheel drive as standard

The new Volkswagen Golf R hatchback and estate are both now in development. Spy shots have emerged of a Golf R estate mule disguised as the forthcoming Golf Alltrack, with details such as the four exhaust pipes and big alloy wheels giving away that it’s the hot R version.

The R will spearhead a group of five new hot Golf models and will get a little more power than the outgoing version. A launch in a few months is expected, with the car due to arrive in showrooms next year. It’s not known whether the estate will be launched at the same time.

Best fast estates

2021 Volkswagen Golf R estate

Hiding under a disguise, the Golf R Estate will have much more aggressive styling when it reaches showrooms. Like the hatchback, we expect it’ll have an extended boot spoiler, while the number of exhausts, silver mirrors and blue brake calipers will also be specific to the R. Four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox will be standard, but the extra bodywork will probably mean the R estate is a whisker slower than the hatchback. The estate offers a much larger boot, though; the last Golf R estate offered the same amount as a regular Golf estate (605 litres) so we’ll hope that’s still the case with this new one.

2020 Volkswagen Golf R styling

Much more aggressive styling than the standard Volkswagen Golf indicates the Golf R’s position at the top of the range. While the front end gets a bigger grille and extra air vents, it’s around the back where the R really stands out. The huge two-part roof spoiler looks like an aftermarket tuning product, and the diffuser is much more prominent than before. Just like the model it’ll replace, the new car has four round exhausts and tinted rear lights. Look at the car in profile and the side-skirts, big alloy wheels and blue brake calipers come into view.

The R is different to the other hot Golfs due soon; new GTI, GTD and GTE models feature the same styling tweaks but are set apart by red, grey and blue touches respectively. The previous Golf R was quite subtle, while this new car shows its performance credentials more readily.

Engine and performance

We expect the upcoming Golf R to stick with the 2.0-litre petrol engine found in the outgoing model but it’s likely to have slightly more power. Various leaks have suggested the new Golf R will have 329bhp, creating a space in the range for a 296bhp 'Clubsport' version of the Golf GTI.

Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system and an automatic gearbox will control the new Golf R’s power. Zero-to-62mph should be ever-so-slightly quicker than before - the current car takes 4.6 seconds - and the top speed will be 155mph, although you may be able to pay extra to have this limiter lifted.

Interior and technology

The latest spy shots include our first look at the Golf R’s interior. Of course, much of it is shared with the rest of the Golf range but the R gets more supportive sports seats, shown here upholstered in leather with blue stitching and an R badge on the headrest. R buyers also get a flat-bottomed steering wheel with blue inserts, while metal-effect pedals and illuminated door plates should feature if the Volkswagen Tiguan R is anything to go by.

Two large screens - one infotainment screen on top of the dashboard and one in place of analogue dials - give the interior a real state-of-the-art feel, and touch-sensitive panels are used in many places you’d expect to find physical buttons.

The new Golf R will be the first generation to be permanently online, plus it’ll feature tech like Car2X (this communicates with other cars to give real-time information on things like vacant parking spaces and traffic flow), Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and smartphone mirroring. It’ll also get LED lights all-round, a host of safety equipment and three-zone climate control, and VW may also throw in luxuries like a Harman Kardon stereo and a head-up display.


The MK8 Golf has a 380-litre boot - exactly the same size as before - but it’s likely that this will be slightly reduced in the Golf R. In the current model, the all-wheel-drive system reduces the available space, and VW quotes 340 litres. You can expect a similar capacity in the next-generation car.

Price, specifications and release date

As the 2020 Golf R is due to get more power and more technology than before, we expect a higher price tag. The outgoing model started from around £37,000, but it’s likely the new car will breach the £40,000 mark. That may seem expensive for a hatchback, but the Mercedes-AMG A45 - costing over £50,000 - shows there’s an appetite for expensive, high-powered hot hatches. You’ll be able to order the car later this year, and first deliveries will take place in 2021.

Golf GTI, GTI Clubsport, GTD and GTE

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI - front 3/4 view

The new Volkswagen Golf R will be the fastest of five performance models due to reach showrooms in the next year or so. The new GTI will have 242bhp and the option of a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox, while the hardcore GTI Clubsport is expected to have 296bhp. The GTD shows VW still expects a reasonable number of diesel sales; it will have 197bhp and will be a close rival to the Skoda Octavia vRS and Ford Focus ST diesel. Matching the GTI’s output, the 242bhp plug-in hybrid GTE uses a 1.4-litre petrol engine, an electric motor and a battery, giving an electric range of up to 37 miles.

See where the outgoing Golf R lands on our lists of the fastest hot hatchbacks on sale now and the best used hot hatchbacks.


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