The retention of only petrol power for the forthcoming Volkswagen Golf R has, although not directly, come at a price of an additional cylinder in the shape of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine used in the Audi RS3, RS Q3 and TT RS that allegedly planned.
Despite Audi Sport boss, Oliver Hoffman, confirming last year that the bent-five would continue and adapted to meet the ever more stringent World Harmonised Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) requirements that came into being in Europe on September first last year, its use was halted by Ingolstadt over fears that the R could morph into a direct albeit cheaper rival for the next RS3.
According to a report by Dutch online platform, autovisie.nl earlier this month, an unnamed Audi executive reportedly stated that Wolfsburg’s request was quickly thrown-out in spite of the engine being used in not only the KTM X-Bow, but also the D8 GTO made by Dutch sports car manufacturer, Donkervoort.
“That doesn’t hurt us. It is also good for Audi’s image,” the source said of the engine’s use by KTM and Donkervoort, (but), “the Golf R is quite simply too a direct rival to Audi Sport. [Therefore], we will not let [Volkswagen] have the powerunit at their disposal. Manufacturing the five-cylinder is very labour intensive. This makes it very drastic to increase the volumes”.
Audi’s ruling out of the five-cylinder has seemingly also put an end to the rumoured Golf R420 that was to replace the Golf R400 that bowed as a concept at the Beijing Auto Show six years ago. Ultimately canned due to the effects of the then-enveloping dieselgate saga, the R400’s intended successor nonetheless seemed poised to happen when images and videos of it undergoing testing at the Nürburgring started appearing on various online platforms two years ago.
“Sometimes we look to other power sources so it’s great for our market to have that drive to have a greater performance product, it’s just the R division working on that,” Volkswagen Australia Product Manager, Todd Ford, told Motor Magazine when quizzed about the possibility of the R420 becoming a reality.
“It’s their car, so it’s just them testing the five-cylinder engine as a large percentage of their work is evaluating and looking at new engines and technologies to see if there’s a business case for putting something to the market”.
As indicated by its name, the R420 was set to ditch the R400’s 400 PS (295 kW) 2.0 TSI engine for a 420 PS or 309 kW version of the mentioned 2.5 TFSI made by the Four Rings at its Gyor Engine Plant in Hungary, a plan now highly unlikely to materialise.
Instead, expect the R, whose debut is planned for the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, to retain the 2.0 TSI from the GTI and produce 245 kW, or, according to a report from the UK last month, 257 kW in the rumoured R Plus.