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The first iteration of the Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet is nearing the start of production with this prototype caught by CarAdvice’s spy photographers showing the car with full ‘R’ badging and no camouflage.

Coming off spy shots seen in June of a Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet masquerading as an already released Golf Cabriolet, the latest images clearly show the Golf R for what it really is with model-correct badging on the front grille and rear-end, a new front bumper with LED daytime running lights, chunkier side skirts and a small rear lip spoiler.

Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet - 3

Other touches include bigger brakes with ‘R’-marked brake calipers, bigger wheels and the two oval exhaust tips finished in chrome rather than the standard round pipes seen on the recently released Golf GTI Cabriolet.

While development appears to be significantly far along, we would still expect to see the final production version of the soft-top Golf R continue the model’s long-standing tradition of having two centrally located exhausts rather than the current test car’s set-up.

Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet - 5

Regardless, the Golf R Cabriolet will see all four wheels get drive via a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox, with power coming from its 199kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine – 188kW/330Nm for ‘hot weather’ countries like Australia.

In somewhat odd timing, the sportiest Golf VI-based convertible will be released with the next-generation Golf VII on the horizon, due to be unveiled at next month’s 2012 Paris motor show.