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Click above for high-res gallery of Volkswagen Golf GT MkVI

VW is going to make the most of its new GTI, with three models joining what has already been a well received hot hatch. A 'GTD' variant using a 2.0-liter common rail diesel will go into production in April 2009, with 170 horses and nearly 260 lb.-ft. moving through either a six-speed manual or VW's DSG gearbox. The GTD will be sold at an €800 premium over its gasoline brother, and will get to 62 mph about a second slower in return for longer hauls between refills.

After that, toward the end of 2009, comes the GTI 'Plus' that will push the car dangerously close to the Audi S3 and may spell the end of the current R32. A 60 hp bump over the standard GTI takes the Plus up to 270. The fun-to-drive factor should be raised with a seven-speed DSG transmission, and handling mastery will come courtesy of a Haldex all-wheel-drive system.

The capstone: to help everyone get over the current and rather underwhelming R32, the hottest hotness is supposed to come in 2010 in the form of an R42. Swapping the current V6 for a 2.5-liter, turbocharged 5-cylinder that it will share with Audi's TT-RS and RS3, the raunchy R is rumored to get a chest-hair-growing 350 hp. If Auto Motor und Sport are to be believed, it will start rolling out of factories in November of 2009 at an undisclosed price.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey. It's not underwhelming. I love my R32
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, things are looking really good for VW. I'm glad to see the next R version of the golf will have more HP to close the gap between Subaru/Mitsubishi. 350hp may be enough to give it an edge along with superb handling over the Evo and STi.

      Bring it on VW!
        • 6 Years Ago
        but at what price...
        • 6 Years Ago
        The current R32's handling is a joke compared to the Evo MR. All those ponies aren't going to help it much when it has to contend with its worst in class curb weight. No this will be a competitor to the upcoming TwinForce Fusion GT and will weigh about the same.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Doesn't mean much to me. "Better" is subjective. The only thing you have to back up that claim is a single recent "Car and Driver" article:

        (Quote from the article)
        The STI: "the overall ride is the best in the group" - (also sounds like the Rabbit was the slowest...)

        Forget about the STI. I look forward to a 09 WRX/R32 comparo. For the money, the WRX should have the Rabbit easily beat...
        • 6 Years Ago
        You say it's not pricey compared to the STI but fail to mention that the EVO is similarly priced to the STI with the MR costing more.

        It's not the same performance as either car so I don't even think it's worth bringing up price. It's 200lbs heavier than the STI (same weight as the EVO) and has about 50hp less than both with lesser quality brakes than the 4/2 fixed piston Brembos both the competitors have.

        The $3k to $4k price difference does buy you something.

        I think VW needs to get the weight down on that thing. I was considering buying one until I saw how heavy they were. Getting 200lbs off of that thing will make difference on all aspects of the car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The R32's handling is better than the STI's, if that means anything to you lot. Despite the fact that it is both heavier and has a lot less power than a STI, the R32 and STI have nearly identical performance on a road course.

        Numbers don't always tell the whole story.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The GTI Plus sounds like it will be a hot ride, but with AWD, 7 speed, and 60 more HP it's probably going to be 30K or more. I'm sure it's really fun but not practical enough for that much money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wait, the current 2.5 that they use right now? As in the one in my Rabbit? hmmmm. interesting. I wonder how many people are going to afford the insurance on this R46. Not many.
      • 6 Years Ago
      'R42'? All of VW's R models use the two digits to represent the engine displacement, eg the R32 Golf with 3.2L V6 and R50 Touareg with 5.0L V12TD. Sounds like the new flagship might be R25 (or R25T).
        • 6 Years Ago
        The germans like to use a rating system.
        42 would mean that the engine output is equivalent to an engine of 4.2 liters of displacement.
        So if this makes 350hp, that is about what the current S5 makes, 349hp.

        V10 in the Touareg
        • 6 Years Ago
        It would be, in the words of my friend, "Marketing Suicide" to go with lower numbers.
        When I first read this I thought they were dropping the corporate 4.2L aluminum V8 in there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I doubt VW will sell a R whatever for more than 35-40k. The competition the Evo and STi sell for around that amount so it wouldn't make sense for them to overprice a new R-model. I'm sure a lot will be surprised by the performance numbers of both the GTI and R-models when they come out.

      Someone asked "which one will be faster and get better mileage? 7 speed double clutch or 6 speed manual." The answer is the 7sp DSG.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whoa, nice. April 09 for the GTD? Sign me up, VWoA!
        • 6 Years Ago
        In Europe yes, not so likely here.

        Not only will we not see the MkVI here until late next year at the earliest, I really doubt we'll see a GTD version maybe ever.

        We don't even have the Rabbit version of the TDI here yet, much less a performance-oriented one. I think the TSI motors stand a much better chance of coming here than a hopped-up TDI and I'm not even so sure those will be coming soon.

        On that same note, I'm thinking that we will probably see the GTI Plus as our next .:R version and we probably won't ever see the .:R42 on our shores.

        I personally like the idea of the turbo 5cyl making it into a Golf(Rabbit), I just don't see it happening here for the prices it would likely go for. People already don't buy the current .:R model and it's priced around $30K. I expect the GTI Plus to be priced similarly. So, that means a much higher price for the R version.

        It's not the way I want to see things happen, but it's the way I see it playing out. I hope I'm wrong.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The only sad news here (and odd that no one has mentioned it) is that this article seems to suggest that the R42 will come standard with DSG, so no manual option, just like the new R32. No go for me, unfortunately. I just don't get it how what should be the most fun to drive model always gets the least fun to drive transmission standard.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lucky you. We get this same treatment all the time. All Volvo S40 trims are only auto for 2009, for example. And the new A4 was release as an auto only; manual will not be offered until Feb/March.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The R32 is available with a manual overhere.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Add me to the list of those waiting for a GTD.

      Would love one with AWD though. Might get bored waiting for the GTD to make it stateside and end up with a Subie diesel, 6 sp manual.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The reason VW isn't selling any R32's is because of their retarded choice of transmission. Give me an extra pedal and keep your hundredth of a second...
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