Though markedly less popular in terms of sales, there was a strong argument for the old VW Golf R Estate being the pick of the range. Oh sure, it wasn't available with a manual gearbox, but nobody went for one of those anyway - no biggie. On the upside, it offered the keen driver damn near everything that the hatch did in terms of performance and handling, while being a chunk more practical to, er, boot. Some might say the estate's image was slightly more favourable than the hatch, too...
Anyway, the Mk7 R wagon was clearly enough of a success for VW to continue with the idea, which is an achievement in itself given that a proper performance Golf estate hadn't existed before then - and there was no guarantee that people wanted it. But they did, and these latest images show that a Mk8 replacement is destined for the showroom very soon.
As with the old Golf R, the estate is marked out by the same upgrades as found on the hatch. Note here the reprofiled front bumper, the trademark blue calipers behind the larger wheels, four chunky exhaust and a modest boot spoiler. Look closely behind the VW badge at the back and it looks like an 'R' badge is being disguised, sited in the same place you'll find GTI badges on that model. The roof-mounted floodlights are still unconfirmed for production...
Like the hatch, we can expect this Golf R estate to be powered by the same 320hp 2.0-litre turbo, with an identical seven-speed DSG as well. Where it's easy to be less confident is the much vaunted Golf R Drift Mode because - let's be honest here - it's probably of less interest to the typical estate driver. It'd be nice to have, but we won't hold our breath. For reference the old Golf R estate was 88kg heavier than the hatch when both had the DSG fitted, so we'd expect a similar penalty this time around.
Given the almost complete lack of disguise on this test car, we can assume that the Golf R Estate isn't far off being announced. Once upon a time it may well have been a Geneva show debutant, and a reveal next month would tally both with that fact and the obvious production readiness of this prototype. We'll keep you posted!
Image credit | S.Baldauf/S.B.Medien
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