When Volkswagen unveiled the facelifted Golf R for Europe at the end of 2016, the hot hatch’s 2.0-litre engine gained an extra 10 horsepower for a grand total of 306 bhp. Fast forward to present day, you can kiss that power bump goodbye as the range-topping Golf is losing the extra muscle on the old continent. It’s happening so that VW will still be able to sell the R once the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure will come into effect from September.
If it sounds familiar, it’s because it was only a few days ago when the Leon Cupra 300 was renamed Leon Cupra 290 to reflect an identical loss of power, but only for the hatchback, with the ST estate to soldier on with the full power. It’s unclear at this point whether both body styles of the Golf R will suffer the 10 horsepower drop, but VW has told Autocar the change is going to affect cars already on order. The company will get in touch with customers to tell them the bad news.
Speaking with the British magazine, a VW spokesperson said the following:
“In the context of new homologations, there are adaptions for the exhaust gas treatment and for the power output. From now on, all Golf R models will feature a 300PS [296bhp] engine.”
In the U.K. at least, the Golf R lineup has been reduced to the hatchback and it’s only available with the dual-clutch automatic transmission as a consequence of low demand for the estate and the manual gearbox.
As you may recall, VW cancelled the R400 a couple of years ago and it’s highly unlikely it will come back in production guise, even though a mysterious Golf R prototype was seen last September with oval exhaust tips.
Featuring a mild hybrid system, the eighth-generation Golf has already been confirmed to enter production in June 2019, which could mean an official reveal will take place in the first half of next year.