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ABT boosts WLTP-approved VW Golf R to 350hp

A new particulate filter has done little to harm the R's tunability

By Sam Sheehan / Thursday, April 25, 2019

You might not think the introduction of a particulate filter to the VW Golf R would stir much excitement in the workshop of ABT, but actually it has provided the German tuner with an opportunity to revisit the super-hatch and extract a rather healthy 350hp from its turbocharged 2.0-litre engine – all without removing that WLTP-enforced filter.

This boost of output by 50hp is joined by a bump in torque to 325lb ft, a 45lb ft improvement on the standard R, which, as you might expect, provides the all-wheel drive five-door with even more rapid straight-line performance. ABT is yet to reveal how much has been shaved from the standard car’s 4.9 second 0-62mph time, but something close to 4.5 seconds would rank it in line with the likes of Porsche’s 718 Cayman S.

Perhaps ABT will get the stopwatch out once it completes development of a new exhaust system, which is currently being engineered to work with the new filter and breathe out of 102mm diameter tailpipes. The firm has also confirmed that new wheels of 18 to 20-inch diameters are available with the Golf, while buyers after the full Abt package can spec sports springs or an adjustable setup to sharpen things up. An ABT anti-roll bar kit is also offered.

It’s a proper bit of kit, then – so while we’re all familiar with the Golf R and its brilliantly rounded performance traits from the factory, we suspect some Golf R owners might find ABT's upgrades tough to resist.

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