Following a strong debut at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, the prospect of a 400 horsepower Golf seemed bright and on track for production. However, insiders within Volkswagen revealed that the model has been cancelled due to the aftermath of the ongoing diesel emissions scandal.
Before it was cancelled, the model recieved strong internal support within Volkswagen and was backed by former chief of research and design Heinz-Jakob Neusser. The model even recieved approval for U.S. showrooms a year after it debuted in Beijing (a rare feat for a new concept.) Unfortunately the emissions scandal took hold, and Neusser was one of the first casualties of the scandal, with the exec submitting his resignation earlier this year. After he resigned, the company put the model on the shelf and pursued no further development on it.
A seperate report that was released by Automotive News claims that while the R400 in its current form has been axed, Volkswagen is still committed to a higher performance Golf variant, albeit in a completely rethought form. Volkswagen is still working on a production version of the concept’s 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that could indeed surpass 400 horsepower. But instead of debuting in the Golf, it would make its apperance in future Audi performance models like the next generation RS3.
That said, it is rumored that Volkswagen engineers will put their focus on cutting weight, and incorporating more lightweight materials into the next generation Golf R. While the engine will still see a modest bump in horsepower over the current model, the weight savings would allow the upcoming Golf R to be lighter than the current generation GTI and have a better power to weight ratio as a result. In addition, the car would also boasts better braking hardware, and a more refined all-wheel drive system to cope with the extra performance.