It's been a couple of years since Volkswagen's heavyweight hot hatch, the R32, graced America's shores, but now we have official word of a successor. Tuned by the in-house R team at Volkswagen, the Golf R should be a good bit more exciting than its already entertaining forebear, and hopefully, it will shave a few pounds off, too.
Unlike the R32, which was powered by VW's popular VR6, the new model will be powered by Volkswagen's ubiquitous turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. And while Volkswagen isn't quoting power output for the new U.S. model, the European version currently on sale conjures up 270 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. All of that gumption will be routed through VW's fourth generation Haldex 4Motion all-wheel drive system, which means the VW should once again be a good foil for cars like the Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.
Along with the power increase, VW is promising bigger brakes, an uprated suspension, 18-inch wheels, center-exit dual exhaust and a more liberally tuned ESP. Perhaps most interestingly, the Golf R will be available in both two and four doors and be paired exclusively with a manual transmission. That's right, we said it.
Although the press release after the jump doesn't mention when it will debut (our money's on Detroit), additional R accoutrements include model-specific aero bits and badging, along with upgrated trim and a new steering wheel, shift knob, and so on.
In other words, it's time to get excited.
GOLF R KEY MESSAGES
The European Golf R is simply the most powerful Volkswagen sports performance vehicle ever built. The car delivers the ultimate Volkswagen driving experience with dynamic handling, refined road manners and unprecedented power for a Golf. It is Volkswagen's performance halo vehicle, and at the request of VW enthusiasts, the company is bringing it to the U.S. in 2012.
• 2.0L turbocharged engine with significant hp increase over GTI
• 4th generation Haldex 4Motion - all wheel drive
• Increased rotor diameter translating to improved braking
• Sport tuned ESP
• Upgraded sport tuned suspension
• 2 door or 4 door
• Manual Transmission Only
• Unique 18" alloy wheels
• Unique steering wheel
• Unique interior trim
• Exterior R model badge and bodykit
• R model shift knob
• R model door sills
• R model front and rear fascia with dual, center exit, exhaust