With a few months still until VW's official reveal of the MK8 Golf R, an entirely camo-free model was seen driving around an undisclosed testing location in the Arctic Circle.
Since the first renders and spy shots of the MK8 Golf lineup, it's been apparent that this generation isn't a major departure from the generation previous. Instead, subtle iterative changes have been made to the refined, mature, German styling that we've seen carry from the MK6, to the MK7, and now the MK8.
Up front, the bumper differs only slightly and is styled more aggressively than what we've seen on models like the GTI TCR. The differences are subtle, but if you look closely, VW still has small sections taped for a little remaining mystery. As for the rest of the front end, we've seen the new (controversial) design of the headlights on other Golfs across the lineup already, so these shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
Inside the Cadiz wheels, which were standard on the MK7 Golf R, you will see the sizable brake rotors and calipers painted in blue. This is yet another hint that this is indeed the MK8 Golf R we're looking at. It's assumed that these wheels are just a placeholder until the official unveiling.
Another thing to note from this profile shot is that as with the front bumper, VW has a portion of the rocker panels taped up. Exactly what this is hiding has yet to be seen.
At the back of the car, the first thing that jumps out to you - and almost completely confirms that this is the MK8 Golf R - are the quad exhaust tips. Other than that, nothing at the rear has changed from spy shots that we've seen previously.
This isn't the first "leak" when it comes to the MK8 Golf R within the last month—obviously, VW isn't too concerned about keeping this one under wraps. Just a few weeks ago, the entire MK8 Golf lineup had its stats leaked on Instagram, and if they're to be believed, it shows that the Golf R will put out 339 horsepower.
When we'll see the Volkswagen MK8 Golf R has yet to be confirmed. However, rumors are circulating that VW will unveil it at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this year. Until then, you can see the MK8 GTI debut in March at the Geneva Motor Show. Until then, keep checking back here, or our VW hub vw.fcpeuro.com, for more VW news, DIYs, and feature articles.
Writer/Editor at FCP Euro and owner of a daily R53 MINI Cooper, a track-built R53 MINI, and a 1997 Dakar Yellow E36 M3 Sedan. ••• Instagram: @evan.madore