Cars

Whoa: VW is Gonna Make the 400hp Golf R 400

For over 30 years, the VW Golf has been one of the very best small European cars you can get Stateside, and now they're planning on going ballistic. They just dropped the Golf R 400 concept, and just so you understand their intentions, they've also confirmed that they're definitely going to make it. That's a very, very good thing.

In the looks department, it differentiates itself from the regular Golf with some extra flares to enable wider tires, while drawing a parallel to one of its ancient ancestors: the 1988 Rallye Golf R, which was built purely to qualify the chassis for a racing series.

Out back, it has a double-element diffuser, which is aero-speak for "all the fancy carbon you see at the bottom is actually functional."

Of course, all the fancy exterior developments would be virtually pointless if the car didn't have the guts to back it up. But it does, thanks to a turbocharged, two-liter four cylinder that's capable of 395 hp; in Europe, they'd call that 400PS, hence the name of the car.

Like the R32 before it, the R 400 puts that power to the ground via all four wheels for optimal acceleration and wet-weather performance. Look closely at the center console and you'll see what looks like a manual transmission, but is really a manually-shifted dual clutch automatic. Volkswagen hasn't released much info on it, but it certainly looks fun.

The interior tends to match the sporting intention of the rest of the car. The seats are essentially street versions of racing shells, covered in Alcantara and trimmed in a woven, "carbon" pattern leather.

Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor. He's only owned one Volkswagen, and it wasn't a Golf. Still, he'd drive this every day. Follow him on Twitter.