We're still not certain the revamped Mk8.5 Golf R will come to the States, but if you want to know how to tell it from the GTI if it does come here, Volkswagen's got a couple of teasers for you. During the annual ice races at Zell am See in Austria, VW parked a refreshed GTI in the digital blue camo scheme the automaker favors of late for public reveals of prototypes. The quick giveaway for the R is the blue brake calipers instead of the red units on the GTI, and the plump wing atop the hatchback. We imagine telltale differences in the rear will carry over, those being four exhaust outlets on the Golf R as opposed to two outlets on the GTI. We don't have to guess about the front, where the hexagonal mesh and the fog lights on the GTI are replaced by a single line through the lower intake and, and angled strakes that frame a radar unit not seen on the other car.
Compared to the current Golf R, this look up front is less ornate, more focused. Or, combined with the omission of a manual transmission, maybe the phrase we're looking for is "more mature."
We hope VW plans more potency for the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder powertrain. The refreshed GTI gained roughly 20 horses, going from 241 to 262 in European spec. We expect our number to be close to that if not exact, putting the $33,000 GTI at around 53 hp short of the $47,000, 315-hp Golf R. Perhaps the standard car will reach for the 328 imperial horsepower available in the European-market R 333 trim released last year.
And, it bears repeating, perhaps such a car will come to the U.S. We have a while to wait for the answers, Volkswagen R boss Reinhold Ivenz saying the Golf R won't debut until this summer.
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