Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Golf GTI has long been the go-to hot hatch for keen boy racers hell bent on performance thrills without breaking the bank.

Now, VW has dropped the silk sheet on a concept that boasts 395bhp and hints towards a high-performance hatchback for the road.

Dubbed the R400 concept, the powerful machine manages to squeeze 400ps (395bhp) from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, which translates into a 0-62mph acceleration time of under four seconds.

Based on the same underpinnings as the current generation Golf R, the R400 concept takes things a few steps further by piling on the power and stocking up on visual flair.

VW claims the model was met with a positive reaction when it was unveiled at the Beijing motor show earlier this week, meaning it could put something similar into production with a hope to take on the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG – a hatchback that is currently considered the most potent mega-hatch available to man with 355bhp on tap.



To ensure the R400's power is translated into real-world performance, VW has fitted the concept with a six-speed manual gearbox and its new multi-plate clutch 4Motion four-wheel-drive system.

The innovative four-wheel drive system constantly monitors the levels of grip available and channels power to the front and rear axles accordingly. It is able to pump all 395bhp to either the front or rear, depending on available traction.

In response to cries that the current Golf R looks a little understated, designers at VW have let their imagination run wild with the concept. The body is some 20mm wider than the Golf R on each side, the wheel arches boast a more pronounced flare and carbonfibre trim can be seen both inside and out.

Even the engine bay receives some lemon piping to fit in with the sharp metallic and lemon paint theme.