The new VW Golf R will be the fastest Golf ever, powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 300PS and 280 lb/ft of torque, enough to hit 62mph in less than five seconds.
The Golf R with manual transmission will accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds, while the six-speed DSG-equipped version will achieve the same sprint in just 4.9 seconds.
Both will have an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph.
Despite the huge performance, the R is more efficient than the previous model, recording 40.9mpg on the combined cycle for the DSG model, or 39.8mpg for the conventional manual version. CO2 emissions start as low as 159g/km, depending on the exact configuration.
Although powered by the same EA888 TSI engine as used in the Golf GTI, the R’s version uses a modified cylinder head with unique valves, seats and springs, as well as revised pistons, injection valves and turbocharger.
The new Golf R will also feature the company’s 4Motion four wheel-drive system to achieve maximum grip and ensure its power can be usefully laid down.
The Haldex-based system disconnects the rear axle in normal driving to reduce fuel consumption, but almost 100% of engine torque can be quickly transferred to the rear axle should conditions dictate.
The Golf R also features specially tuned suspension springs and dampers, and a 5mm lower ride height than the Golf GTI (itself already 15mm lower than a standard Golf).
Progressive steering will be fitted as standard with 2.1 turns lock-to-lock, while Adaptive Chassis Control will be available as an option.
Externally, the Golf R carries a new front bumper with larger air intakes, a revised grille with R badge, new daytime running lights integrated into the bi-xenon headlight units, R-specific side sills, black brake calipers with R logos, 18-inch alloy wheels wearing 225/40 tyres, smoked LED tail lights, rear diffuser and four exhaust pipes – two at each side.
Inside are sports seats with cloth centres and Alcantara sides, and bespoke R instruments with blue needles.
UK prices haven’t been announced, but the new Golf R is expected to go on sale in spring 2014.