A prototype of the Volkswagen Golf R420 (name not confirmed) has been caught on camera for the very first time undergoing testing on the Nürburgring in Germany.

Ever since Volkswagen took the wraps off the Golf R400 concept more than a year ago, many reports emerged about the possibility of a production version. VW confirmed plans last month and now the first spy photos with a prototype have emerged ahead of next year's expected launch at a price tag well above the Golf R (€39,000) but below the €50,000 mark.

While the concept packed a 400 PS punch from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine, the production version is expected to have as much as 420 PS, hence the name. Interestingly, our spy photographers say the prototype depicted in the attached images sounded like a 5-cylinder, but we will have to wait for a confirmation from Volkswagen.

Regardless of the engine, power will be channeled as expected to a 4MOTION all-wheel drive system while the identity of the gearbox is not known at this point but it will likely be a DSG. The prototype spotted is obviously based on the 300 PS Golf R but adopts larger alloy wheels, front spoiler lip, a big roof-mounted wing and a lowered sports suspension.

Expect the Volkswagen Golf R400 / R420 to show up at a major auto show in 2016, possibly in Geneva set for March.

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