For many performance and tuning enthusiasts, high power is still essential and one of the cornerstones for an inspiring ride. The unbroken success of high-powered top models with prestigious abbreviations such as M or AMG on the tail is clear evidence of this. Today, 400hp and more are already achieved in the compact class ex works. But even such values only make Manhart Performance smile wearily. With the new RS 450, the Wuppertal-based specialists are now presenting their version of a powerful hot hatch, based on the VW Golf VII R, which has 310hp in the series production version.
As usual, the digit itself of the new vehicle designation indicates the power developed by the two-liter four-cylinder turbo engine of the Wolfsburg compact sports car following the Manhart upgrade. The increase by 140 to 450hp and the maximum torque of 500 instead of 400Nm is down to the installation of a new, larger turbocharger, a re-mapping of the engine control unit and the use of a carbon intake system from Eventuri.
In addition, thanks to a Manhart center muffler, the Golf underscores its performance capabilities acoustically too with a brutish sound – this being further amplified by the Manhart downpipe, which is available with a 300-cell catalytic converter or, for export, on request without a catalytic converter and in combination with a replacement pipe for the petrol particulate filter. In terms of driving dynamics, the Golf R has also been further enhanced as the RS 450, since Manhart uses lowering springs from H&R with in-house setup.
Visually, Manhart differentiates the RS 450 from its standard brothers with subtle but equally skillful modifications. The front has an even sportier look thanks to a spoiler lip from Rieger Tuning. In addition, there is a decal set consisting of lettering and several trim strips, which in silver contrasts with the black paintwork of the VW. As regards wheels, MANHART fits its own Concave One light-alloy rims in a diamond polished finish with dimensions of 8.5x20 inches and 235/35 ZR19 tires.