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First Look

Here's your first look at the 2024 Volkswagen Golf R

VW's range-topping all-wheel-drive hatch will be unveiled later this year

Published: 30 Jan 2024

Volkswagen will debut the all-new Golf R in mid-2024, just in time for the Golf’s 50th anniversary celebrations. A mule was spotted testing as Volkswagen attended the Zell am See Ice Race in Austria, covered in camo that rather looks like the inside of a computer chip.

We expect it to retain the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot, but given the outgoing model was already 10bhp (315) and 15lb ft of torque (310) more powerful than its predecessor, could we see closer to 330bhp in this new version? Strange to think of a factory-grade Golf with nearly as much power as a Porsche 911 Carrera, but anywho.

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Some of those in attendance at the Ice Race managed to spend some time in the new AWD R, and one of those was six-time World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristofferson. Unsurprisingly, he rather liked it. "I love driving a powerful all-wheel drive car on ice and snow – especially if it’s an R model. It was great fun to sit in the brand-new Golf for the first time. I can only say that even though the Golf R has not yet been revealed, there is a true sports car under the camouflage that fans of the R brand can already look forward to.”

While we can only speculate on what mechanical wizardry is going on beneath the new Golf’s bonnet, the outside reveals slightly more. The not-so-camo, er, camo, reveals a much more aggressive front bumper with bigger air vents and a significantly more pronounced bottom lip. The front headlights also appear to be more sharply chiselled along the outer edges. It’s just angrier altogether.

Alongside the R, Volkswagen also showed off its new GTI, eHybrid, and GTE variants, which are all confirmed to be debuting this summer.

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