No Drift Mode, No 4-Wheel Steering, Mo’ Power for Next Golf R

Volkswagen R director, Jost Capito, has revealed that the next Golf R will feature one choice upgrade and miss out on two others.

Speaking to Top Gear magazine, Capito said that although the Mk8 R will get more power than the current model, a drift mode and all-wheel steering should not be expected.

While you might not have exactly been expecting the Golf to get four-wheel steering, there is a precedent. The Megan RS, Renault’s latest hot hatch, has added a back axle that can help get the car rotated, but Capito simply explains that “it’s just not necessary on a car the size of a Golf.”

Such a system would also likely add weight to the car and a bigger price tag, neither of which are particularly appealing.

As for drift mode, though, those price and weight aren’t issues, which makes its omission harder to explain.

“The Focus RS feels geared up for fun above everything,” Capito told Top Gear. “Drift mode is a free piece of technology that comes from the drive systems they’re using. But it’s not for us.”

Although this may be hard to understand at first blush, Capito’s explanation of the car’s nature earlier in his conversation with Top Gear may provide hints. Comparing the GTI to a tiger, he calls the Golf R a black panther.

The R is “more subtle, something you find easier to approach and want to get close to.”

Capito explains that he uses the feline analogy to help his team get on the same page: a one-word summation of the car’s character.

So the Golf R isn’t about showing off, like the Focus RS—which he likens to a shark—it’s about being lithe, muscular, and understated. And while we might be tempted by a drift button if we were in charge of Volkswagen R, we are at least relieved to hear that Capito has a clear idea of the car he wants to make and the control to commit to it.

Finally, Capito told TG that the Mk8 Golf R will be getting more power than the Mk7, though he said no more. While we don’t exactly know how much power the R will make, we can at least pretty sure that it will still start with 3.

Capito recently raised eyebrows (ours included) by saying that buyers didn’t need a Golf R with 400 hp, so something between 300 and 400 hp it is.