The Volkswagen Golf has had hundreds of engine variants since its introduction in 1974. While there used to be the larger VR6, the fourth generation of the four-pot EA888 is the most powerful ever mounted on a compact hatchback. The 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol plant produces 329 hp (245 kilowatts) in the Golf R 20 Years Edition. A new video from the company’s R division shows how they can extract that extra oomph over the regular Golf R.
Even though VW is all about electric vehicles these days, its engineers were given time to work on an all-wheel-drive hot hatch and add 13 hp (10 kW) to the mix. Tweaks to the inlet and exhaust have allowed the four-cylinder engine to add a bit more muscle. The throttle valve always stays fully open so air no longer builds up in front of it, meaning you get an instant response as you accelerate.
A further modification to the turbocharger involves improving the anti-lag system by changing the wastegate valve for faster throttle response. In episode 2, VW will provide additional details about the most powerful Golf R of all. The car goes on sale this year in Europe and North America, with an asking price of €59.995 in Germany. The 20 Years Edition will have a one year production period.
The 20 Years Edition is the most powerful production Golf ever, but it’s not technically the most powerful VW ever made. For the Wörthersee show in 2007, the company built a crazy (and functional) GTI W12-650 with a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 engine from the Bentley Continental GT. It was a mid-engined concept based on the Golf Mk5 with a ridiculous 641 horsepower that gave it a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in 3.7 seconds. Amazingly, the 20 Years Edition is only 0.9 seconds slower in the sprint.
In 2014, VW unveiled the Golf R400 concept with 395 hp, and although it was spotted undergoing testing at the Nurburgring several times, the production model never followed. Rumor has it the car should be called the R420 and therefore packs more power than the concept by offering nearly 415 hp. The cancellation appears to have come after head of R&D Heinz-Jakob Neusser was forced to retire after Dieselgate.