• Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • DB2013AU01151_large
  • DB2013AU01152_large
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • DB2013AU01153_large
  • DB2013AU01154_large
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen

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UPDATE: An earlier version of this story indicated that pre-orders were already open for this model, but Volkswagen points out that they will only begin at a later date still to be determined. The text below has been updated accordingly.

I had a lovely first date with the Volkswagen Golf R a couple of years ago, blasting through the French Alps just before attending the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. I loved that car, and I'm super stoked to get behind the wheel of this new, 2015 model.

We've got good news, boys and girls, and we've got bad news. First the good news: Volkswagen is bringing the new Golf R to the United States. The bad news is that it won't have as much power as the European version, however slight the drop in output might be.

The VW Golf R has always been a GTI on steroids. But even with a bigger dose of performance-enhancing power than the GTI, every generation of R has left us wanting more. Until now, we think. The fourth generation Golf R, based on the seventh-gen Golf, has officially debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and under its hood is an increase in power that dwarfs the prior three generations.

Volkswagen has seen fit to release an additional 21 images of the 296-horsepower, all-wheel-drive 2014 Golf R. Our crack team covered the monstrous little hatchback ahead of its debut at next week's Frankfurt Motor Show, but know that a brand new gallery of the thing couldn't hurt, either.

Volkswagen has been making R-badged Golfs for longer than you might think. In fact, what you're looking at here is the fourth such model. But while previous generations have moved the power game incrementally forward, this latest version moves it on by leaps and bounds.