Click on the image for a high-res gallery of the new R32

Volkswagen announced the second generation of its performance flagship, the R32, based on the newest generation Rabbit platform. Like the original 2004 iteration, the new R32 is powered by 250-hp, 3.2L VR6 engine with 236 lb-ft of twisting force. The VR6 is mated up to a six speed DSG dual clutch gearbox that allows for lightning quick sequential shifting without having to work a clutch pedal. The gearbox transmits the motive force to all four wheels through a Haldex differential system with a rear torque bias for optimum handling.

Also like the 2004 model, only 5,000 examples will made available for sale in the US market, each one having a number plate on the lower spoke of the steering wheel indicating the serial number. The cars will be available starting in August and VW has set up a micro-site at VW.com where prospective buyers can sign up to get on the reservation list. The VW press release is after the jump, and VIDEO of the car's unveiling is below.

Update
: Although VW announced the R32 micro-site would be live the day of the presentation, the link still hasn't appeared on the home page. However, a quick search revealed the url at http://www.5000r32.com. So run over and place your pre-order now.

[Source: Volkswagen]



PRESS RELEASE:

HOT NEW R32 WARMS UP THE WINDY CITY WITH ITS NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT


CHICAGO – Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced the return of its motorsports-inspired R32 at the Chicago Auto Show. First introduced in 2004 to an enthusiastic reception, the R32 delivers the ultimate in Volkswagen sports performance with dynamic handling and refined road manners.

The R32's power comes from a 3.2 L naturally aspirated 15-degree narrow angle V6 engine. With 250 horsepower and 236 ft. lbs. of torque, the R32 is all muscle. The standard 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system transfers at least 75 percent of available torque to the rear wheels. Volkswagen's acclaimed DSG® transmission allows for seamless gear changes and accelerates from 0-60 in approximately 6.4 seconds.

With a fully independent multi-link rear suspension that sits wider and lower than its GTI sibling, the R32 flaunts its authority both inside and out. Twin chrome exhausts, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, a uniquely shaped front grille and R32 badging distinguish this car from anything else on the road. A rear roof spoiler and deep front spoiler, coupled with body-colored bumpers, side bump strips, door handles and door mirrors, add to the streamlined, sporty look.

The R32 boasts a long list of safety features, including Electronic Stabilization Program that reacts to critical driving situations in milliseconds by controlling the speed of individual wheels; and a confidence-inspiring Anti-Lock Braking System that helps to prevent wheels from locking under heavy braking. Brake Assist boosts brake pressure in emergency braking situations and the state-of-the-art Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution automatically varies the amount of force applied to each of a vehicle's brakes based on road and driving conditions.

Inside, the R32 takes it cues from racing with aluminum-look foot pedals and deep front sports seats. Features such as automatic climate control (Climatronic™), ten-speaker premium CD stereo system, rain sensing wipers, automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror, heatable front seats and heated washer nozzles, anti-theft alarm, cruise control and trip computer are standard luxuries that complement this performance-driven champ.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Rabbit, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, GTI, Jetta, GLI, Passat, Passat wagon, Eos, and Touareg through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at vw.com.

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