Volkswagen has let the next Golf R off the leash earlier than expected, with a barely-disguised version spotted in a popular cold weather-testing location in the Arctic Circle.
We can now see the fast hatchback from all angles after an Instagram post emerged a couple of weeks ago just showing the rear. There is still a bit of subtle taping at the front, which may or may not be part of hiding something, but our spy photographers reckon there’s some disguise work going on around both bumpers.
Tell-tale signs revealing this as the R include the four exhausts, lowered ride height, diffuser, large wheels and blue-painted brake calipers. The discs themselves are larger, too, with perforations for better cooling at the front.
We can be sure the 2020 Golf R will use an up-to-date version of the 4Motion on-demand four-wheel drive system for launch traction. We did have a stats leak a few weeks ago that suggested a peak of 339bhp for the new car. We can also realistically expect it to be faster than the current car, which, in its most potent Performance Pack guise, hits 62mph from rest in 4.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 168mph.
The R has always been relatively restrained in terms of styling. We might see a larger boot spoiler but the overall effect should be mature rather than manic. See the Mercedes-AMG A45 with the optional fixed spoiler for an example of that.
The Golf R’s full reveal should arrive in the middle of this year, if we haven’t already seen the finished article by then.