The head of Volkswagen’s high-performance division says the new Golf R will do without a dedicated “drift mode”.

Jost Capito, who heads up VW’s R division, told Top Gear drift-mode technology – as employed by the likes of the outgoing Ford Focus RS and the upcoming Mercedes-AMG A45 – is “not for us”.

“The Golf GTI is a tiger, whereas the Golf R is a black panther. More subtle, something you find easier to approach and want to get close to,” Capito said.

“The Focus RS feels geared up for fun above everything. Drift mode is a free piece of technology that comes from the drive systems they’re using. But it’s not for us,” he confirmed.

Capito also ruled out the sort of four-wheel steering system used by Renault’s latest Mégane RS, saying “it’s just not necessary on a car the size of Golf”.

Just how much power Volkswagen will extract from the latest version of the turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder EA888 engine set to be used in the R-badged flagship of the upcoming Golf 8 remains to be seen. An earlier report suggested the new all-paw Golf R would be unveiled late in 2020 boasting around 245 kW, while another claimed an extreme new Golf R Plus model (with up to 300 kW) was also on the cards.