Volkswagen Golf R gets a European power cut

Emissions regulations are behind the lower output Golf.
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Volkswagen has followed Seat in cutting power from its range-topping hot hatch, slicing 8kW from the Golf R's outputs in light of WLTP testing.

Whereas the Golf R gets a watered-down 'hot-weather tune' in Australia, producing 213kW from its 2.0-litre displacement, cooler European climes were granted access to the full 228kW available from the EA888 turbocharged engine.

With stricter Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) coming into force later this year, Volkswagen has been forced to slap a more restrictive exhaust system on the car to cut nitrogen oxide on the test cycle, according to reports in Autocar.

“In the context of new homologations, there are adaptions for the exhaust gas treatment and for the power output. From now on, all Golf R models will feature a 300PS [296bhp] engine,” a Volkswagen spokesperson said.

In Australia, the Golf R line-up has been pared back to DSG-only, in keeping with the decision made about the GTI earlier this year. The decisions are in keeping with the skinnier Golf range announced earlier this year, once again because of new WLTP regulations.

The test means all model variants and trim grades (with different wheels, heavy equipment like sunroofs etc.) are assessed, forcing manufacturers to adapt (and trim) their line-ups accordingly. What impact that will have on pricing remains to be seen.

Along with the Golf R, the Seat Leon Cupra 300 has had its power cut because of the new regulations, becoming the Cupra 290 in the process. For those playing along at home, the Leon is the Seat – a Spanish brand under the Volkswagen Group umbrella – take on what a hot hatch should be.