New VW Golf R20 (GTI-R) may come to America

2010 Volkswagen Golf R20 - click above for high-res image gallery

Volkswagen unveiled the new high-zoot R version of the MK VI Golf at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month, but it declined to say whether Americans would ever get a chance to buy one. Fans of the R32 will likely be clamoring for the new R20 if does make it to our shores, in part because of the 400 pounds it has shed.

While we are here in Wolfsburg today to drive VW's more pedestrian Golf varietals, we had a chance to follow up on the R20 possibility for America. First, we asked VW of America CEO Stefan Jacoby, who told us it was being studied and that no decision had yet been reached about the R20 for America. A little later, we talked with Andres Valbuena who happens to be the U.S. product planner for the Golf, GTI and New Beetle. That means he guides the direction of the Golf in this country. To give you some perspective on where Andres stands on this subject, his personal ride back home in Virginia is a 2004 edition R32 with an added blower, so word that Valbuena is pushing hard to get the R20 should come as no surprise. Further, if it does cross the Pond, he wants it available in both two- and four-door bodystyles with a choice of manual or DSG transmissions.

If the R20 does make it here, odds are VW won't be able to justify two powertrains given the expected low volumes. In that event, Valbuena tells us he prefers the manual, but regardless, all R20s would be equipped with all-wheel drive. Working in the R20's favor is the fact that this is essentially the powertrain from the Audi TT-S which has both gearbox options. Hopefully, we'll have a decision from Wolfsburg within a year. If you want the R20 in your local VW showroom, make your voice heard in the comments because the automaker is listening.

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