The supercar-baiting highly tuned version of Volkswagen's Golf family hatchback was meant to serve simply as a demonstration of what its engineers can achieve.
The Golf R 400. Photo:AFP
However, on the eve of the public opening of the Beijing motor show, where the car is set to make its global debut, the company has confirmed that it will be leaving the display stands and hitting the roads.
The Golf R 400 starts off life as a ‘standard' Golf R -- so a small family car with space for two kids in the back but one with 300PS on tap and a 0-100km/h (62 mph) time of 4.9 seconds.
Then the company takes the 2-liter engine out, makes some adjustments to the turbocharger and cooling system and puts it back with an extra 100PS on tap and a new 0-100km/h time of just 3.9 seconds and an electronically limited speed of 280km/h.
Keeping things under control is the 4Motion all-wheel drive system that pushes the right amount of power to the right wheel at the right time, plus larger wheels and bigger brakes.
VW engineers have found that the car can cope with the changes, and the company's VW research and development chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser has confirmed that because the engine can handle the modifications that it will be going into the hottest of hot hatchbacks that the company makes. What's more, it will also be making an appearance under the hood of at least one future Audi.