Is the Golf R Plus happening after all?

An internal Volkswagen document made the Internet rounds in January 2020, revealing the engine outputs for all performance Golf models: GTI, GTI TCR, GTD, and the GTE. All these hot hatchbacks have been revealed in full since then and feature the exact same power as shown in that document, with the only change being the Golf TCR switching to the Clubsport moniker.

But there was one more version of the Golf listed – the flagship R. Wolfsburg’s all-paw hatchback was listed as having 245 kilowatts, which works out to 329 bhp. However, when the Golf R was officially unveiled on November 3 last year, its 2.0 TSI was rated at 235 kilowatts, so 315 bhp. What happened to those 10 kilowatts (14 bhp)?

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YouTuber volkswizard appears to have deciphered the mystery. He had the opportunity to test drive the Golf GTI and received an owner’s manual (edition 07.2020). At the end of the document, he noticed the engines available for the Golf Mk8 were all mentioned, including the 245 kW and 420 Newton-metres (310 pound-feet) for the Golf R. The same power is also available in the newly released Tiguan R and Arteon R.

There was another variant of the 2.0 TSI engine listed in the owner’s manual, carrying the “DNFF” codename, with the output rated at 245 kW (329 bhp). That’s the exact same number as in the internal document from a year ago. Putting two and two together, it appears the long-rumoured Golf R Plus could happen sooner or later.

Gallery: 2022 Volkswagen Golf R

VW has been toying around with the idea of a hotter Golf R since April 2014 when the R400 concept premiered at the Beijing Auto Show. A production version was supposed to arrive during the latter half of the Mk7’s life cycle as an even more powerful R420 model. However, it never happened. For the Mk8, there was a rumour VW wanted to use Audi’s inline-five engine, but the Ingolstadt marque refused to share its 2.5 TFSI.

The Golf R Plus could still happen, but with the smaller four-pot dialled to nearly 330 bhp and the same 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque available in the standard R. It remains to be seen whether it will be a permanent member of the lineup or a special edition. It’s likely not coming anytime soon considering the regular Golf R is still being rolled out in Europe.