The new Volkswagen Golf R 20 Years is the most powerful version of the Golf ever put into production.
As the name suggests, it has been built to celebrate 20 years of Volkswagen's R performance division, which first turned its hand to the fourth-generation Volkswagen Golf to create the 3.2-litre V6-engined, four-wheel-drive Golf R32 hot hatch.
That car packed 237bhp and 236lb ft of torque, but the new special edition ups the ante substantially with modifications that put it on a par, power-wise, with the most potent hot hatches on sale today.
With the venerable EA888 turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine tuned to produce 328bhp, the 20 Years edition is 22bhp more powerful than the current Golf R and as such is all but certain to subtly improve upon its 4.7sec 0-62mph time and 168mph maximum speed.
Volkswagen has even gone so far as to integrate a raft of new design and technical features, including a new Emotional Start function that revs the engine up to 2500rpm on start-up, which it says "heightens the anticipation of a typical R driving experience".
And when driving in S or S+ mode, the dual-clutch automatic gearbox (DSG) has been tweaked to give "noticeable" feedback when shifting up, while the turbocharger has been reconfigured to run at a constant speed under partial throttle, which then makes for quicker acceleration on kickdown.
The Golf R 20 Years also marked out by bespoke design details that make it "already a collectors' item as a new car", according to Volkswagen.
The dashboard door panels are finished in carbonfibre – a first for Volkswagen – while there's extra R badging throughout and a larger, bespoke rear spoiler.
A Volkswagen spokesman confirmed to Autocar that the special edition will come to the UK, with full performance and pricing data to come nearer its arrival.