Volkswagen in Germany has officially reclassified South Africa’s climate from “hot” to “moderate”, a move that allowed the firm’s local arm to upgrade to the full-fat 228 kW Golf R.

When the refreshed seventh-generation version of the all-wheel-drive hot hatch launched in SA back in July 2017, its familiar turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine offered 213 kW, detuned from the global 228 kW output since the country was classed as a “hot climate” market (despite the closely related Audi S3 Sportback churning out the full figure).

But in February 2019, the SA-spec Golf R was upgraded to the 228 kW offered in many other markets. And now the local arm of the Wolfsburg-based firm has confirmed it was this reclassification (interestingly also applied to the Australian market) that allowed it to make the move.

“This [the reclassification] is the reason we were able to bring the Golf R 228 kW to South Africa,” a Volkswagen SA spokesperson told CARmag.co.za.

Does that mean South Africa is in line to receive other (previously forbidden) hotter powerplants? Well, not quite yet...

“At this stage, there are no other specific engines we are evaluating due to this reclassification,” the spokesperson told us.

Still, we can’t help but think the reclassification is good news for local fans ahead of the launch of the new Golf 8 and its GTI- and R-badged performance variants…