Volkswagen insiders cited by Automotive News have revealed the Golf R400 project has been cancelled in the wake of the Dieselgate.

Two years ago, Volkswagen took the Beijing Auto Show by storm with the introduction of the Golf R400 concept that had 400 horsepower (294 kilowatts) from a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. Approximately one year later, then-R&D chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser announced plans to put the mega-hatchback into production and even hinted at a bump in output to 420 hp (309 kW). About one month after the announcement, our spies caught on camera a Golf R prototype that probably had something to do with the R400/R420.

The bad news is it now seems the beefier Golf R won’t see the light of production day after all because of the ongoing scandal with the tricked emissions tests. VW already revealed several months ago a plan to postpone and cancel projects that are not a high priority as a measure to cut development costs and consequently have access to more money to face the Dieselgate. It seems the Golf R did not rank high on VW’s agenda and the model has been axed. That’s probably because it would have turned out to be a niche model, so it wouldn’t have generated enough sales to justify its existence.

However, the silver lining is that Audi is apparently working on a high-performance version of the EA888 engine that was supposed to power the flagship Golf R. This means all the development already done won’t go in vain as the meaty four-banger will live on in another model.

As for Volkswagen, the report goes on to specify it’s now thinking about the next-gen Golf R which will be out after the end of the decade. It is going to be based on the next-gen Golf and will either stick to the same formula as the current model or it will be reimagined as a more hardcore hatchback.

If the second scenario will come to life, the report says the next Golf R could lose at least 300 pounds (136 kilograms). For the sake of comparison, the current Golf R tips the scales at 3,283 lbs (1,489 kilograms) in European specification with the manual gearbox, while the automatic model is a tad heavier at 3,340 lbs (1,515 kg).

It’s a shame there won’t be a Golf R400/R420 because of VW’s messy Dieselgate, but at least the high-powered engine will (hopefully) be installed in another spicy VAG model.

Source: Automotive News

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