VW Golf R By Manhart Is A Stealthy Hot Hatch With 450 Horsepower

feedback@motor1.com (Adrian Padeanu)
Manhart RS450 based on the VW Golf R
Manhart RS450 based on the VW Golf R

It has more power than the VW Golf R420 that never was.

Many reports have been written about how Volkswagen intended to take the Golf R to unprecedented levels of power by introducing an R400 / R420, but ultimately decided to axe the project as a victim of the costly Dieselgate. You could say the folks from Wolfsburg should introduce a beefier version of their all-wheel-drive hot hatch seeing as how the GTI in the Clubsport S flavor perfectly matched its output. While that was a limited-run affair, a new Golf GTI TCR is coming with close to 300 hp, thus getting dangerously close to the mighty R.

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VW will address the narrowing power gap with a new Golf R expected to push out 330 hp, but what if some people want more? Yes, there’s always the Audi RS3 Sportback with its glorious five-cylinder engine, but it’s also significantly more expensive. This is where the tuners at Manhart come into play as they’ve just built a 450-hp variant of the Golf R.

It started off as a Euro-spec car from the pre-WLTP era, so before losing 10 horsepower to comply with the more stringent emissions regulations. Save for the front spoiler lip, custom wheels, H&R lowering springs, and the subtle body decals, the Manhart RS450 looks virtually the same as a stock Golf R. The real secret is underneath the hood where the four-cylinder 2.0-liter gasoline engine now has a bigger turbocharger and a carbon intake.

After remapping the engine’s ECU, Manhart has managed to squeeze out 450 hp and a healthy 500 Newton-meters (369 pound-feet) of torque from the familiar 2.0 TSI. The tuners also fiddled with the engine’s soundtrack by modifying the exhaust to accommodate a new downpipe. While it’s not the five-cylinder Golf R that VW wanted to make before being turned down by Audi, it should still offer a significant performance boost over the standard car.

The decal applied onto the rear pillar of this DSG-equipped car indicates only ten Golf Rs will be converted to the Manhart RS450 specification, which should be a worthy adversary for the RS3 and the AMG A45 S.

A New Golf R Is Coming In A Few Months:

Source: Manhart

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