It was nearly a month ago when unofficially previewed the new Volkswagen Golf GTI with our own rendering, and now time has come to see into the future of the mighty R. Looking quite understated as pretty much all performance Golf models before it, the new R is shaping up to be an excellent all-rounder while flying under the radar thanks to its subtle upgrades over the lesser models.

Featuring the new “VW” corporate badge as well as the revised “R” logo, the next Golf R will boast generous air intakes at the front to cool down the uprated engine. In the new specification, the 2.0 TSI four-pot is expected to produce as much as 329 bhp (245 kilowatts) if we were to rely on a leaked slideshow revealing the outputs of all hot Golf Mk8 models.

Gallery: Volkswagen Golf 8 R rendering

As you may recall, the back of the hot hatch was fully revealed a few days ago in our spy shots of a near-production prototype that wasn't shy to show off its quad exhaust system. Much like the rest of the exterior, the Golf R’s derrière wasn’t all that different compared to the less potent versions, save for the four tips flanking a diffuser.

VW has been relatively coy on details regarding the new range-topper in the Golf family, but it has promised more power compared to the Mk7, so there’s a pretty good chance that slideshow was legit. We know for sure it will do without two features that some other compact hot hatches have, such as the drift mode of the Mercedes-AMG A45 and Ford Focus RS as well as the four-wheel steering of the Renault Megane RS.

Gallery: 2021 VW Golf R spy photos

Expect the new Golf R to be an AWD-only affair offered exclusively with a DSG like its predecessor. Should you want even more power, VW might oblige with a beefier version tentatively called Golf R Plus. It’s said to pack nearly 400 bhp, which would make up for lost time considering the 2015 R400 concept that was set to become the R420 production model never actually hit the assembly line.

It remains to be seen whether VW will offer a Golf R Variant this time around, but even if it will, chances are only select countries will get the high-performance estate. Meanwhile, the first order of business for the peeps in Wolfsburg is to come out with the GTI at the Geneva Motor Show next month, with the hotter GTI TCR and the diesel-fuelled GTD are also planned for a 2020 release. The R will be the last of the quartet to see the light of day, but we won't have to wait much longer as it will be out this fall at the latest.