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The front bumper is much bigger than any other model, lower to the ground and incorporating three large air dams to supply the engine with ample amounts of air. Combined with side skirts and a much larger and lower rear bumper, they also help to reduce turbulent airflow underneath the vehicle. The R32 also a nice little roof spoiler, and at the rear the larger bumper incorporates two rather intense chrome-plated exhaust pipes.
The 'agro' image is bolstered by 18-inch multi-spoke "OZ Aristo" alloy rims, shod with low-profile 225/40ZR18 tires. The R32's suspension has been given the once over in order to keep things competitive with stronger anti-roll bars making the cut. Sitting 20mm lower than the stock Golf, body roll is claimed to have been significantly reduced, which is most likely due to rebound and compression damping tweaks.
Braking is provided by larger 334mm ventilated discs up front and 256mm discs at the rear, also ventilated. The brake calipers are painted blue - to match the paint job - and are hooked up to ABS, EBD and even an electronic stability program for linear braking characteristics in all conditions.
One of the more interesting features of the upcoming hi-po Golf is its 4Motion all-wheel drive transmission. Coupled with improved steering response (just 2.25 turns lock-to-lock), the new Golf is expected to offer a seriously capable and sure-footed drive.
Providing the VW hot hatch with movement is a front-mounted naturally aspirated 3.2-litre V6, and combined with a custom exhaust system - reported to have a lovely burble from idle to redline - it puts out some 241HP. The narrow angle, DOHC, 3189cc 24-valve V6 is quite the piece of work, it's heady 11.3:1 compression ratio and continuously variable intake and exhaust camshaft adjustment helping to provide one helluva fat power band.
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What’s it like to drive a Volkswagen R32? Have you ever driven a Porsche Carrera 4? Well, it’s like that, only smaller. The R32’s engine provides the same silky smooth, addictively aggressive shove. The Vee Dub’s 4Motion system generates the same tenacious grip. The uber-Golf has the same razor-sharp steering and seats-of-the-pants feedback.
The second your thumbs sink into the indentations on the R32’s steering wheel, you know you’re in something special. The car’s helm is the perfect size, shape and feel for guiding a precision machine. Ditto the sports seats, which are both generous and supportive. While all the necessary adjustments are manual, it’s entirely possible to find a driving position so comfortable even highway cruising won’t tempt you to take your hands off the recommended ten and two positions.
Fire-up the R32 and the sense of anticipation diminishes. The car boasts a large capacity, narrow angle V6— that sounds like a four-cylinder engine with a weedy aftermarket exhaust. It makes a small bark at low revs. Slot the box into first, and the precise feel of the stubby stick shift through the six-speed gate makes some amends for the aural anti-climax. The light clutch action is not entirely unwelcome either, holding forth the possibility of quick, slick shifts.
Once underway, the R32 immediately reveals its true character. The 3.2-litre engine delivers its mighty torque from less than 3000rpm. So, provided you keep the rev counter over two-and-a-half grand, the slightest foot flex is rewarded with instant thrust. Keep your foot down, and the power comes on-stream in a single seamless rush, all the way to the redline. “Eager” doesn’t quite cover it. Neither does “free revving”; the R32’s powerplant is nearly as smooth as a rotary engine.
The R32’s engine may be a revelation, but its handling is divine. The suspension is diamond hard, but it helps the wee beastie create an equation familiar to those who’ve driven the world’s best sports cars: tremendous lateral grip + infinitely adjustable throttle + intimate steering feedback + dependable chassis dynamics = confidence. In fact, you can blast the R32 around corners with such confidence that you end up driving it far faster than you’d imagine possible.
The R32 is such a fine handling tool that I discovered that the back end starts to swing around if you brake stomp mid-corner, and that turning in too sharply can provoke some nose-first sliding. Both behaviours were completely progressive, occurred at ludicrous speeds and never engaged the stability control programme.
The R32 is really a nice car to look at and sit in. I haven't driven it, but did spend a lot of time with it at the RI auto show. The seats are thickly bolstered and the gearbox feels solid and smooth. The new front and side facads give it a much more aggressive look than the standard Golf or GTI.
From what I have heard, the main complaint is about the R32s somewhat heafty weight. I think it weighs about 3300 lbs. Which is not incredibly overweight, but more than it should be for a car of its size. The only time people notice the weight is when they are hustling it around the track or on mountain roads, so it is not a major problem. If it lost a few pounds then it would be one amazing car.
Originally posted by Supercharger
A supercharged Golf R32 can go against a BMW M3.
So can a BONE STOCK Evo or STi...
__________________ "We do not intend to withdraw from the rotary. In fact, were are now developing the next generation of that engine."
--Hisakazu Imaki, Mazda's president and chief executive, Los Angeles Times 11/11/06
Personaly I've driven fast VW's/Audi's and I find them dull in the extreem.
That's kind of a flat, short review, but the point about the engine is worth heeding I suppose.
I haven't really read up about the R32 at all. The other more informative and credible article linked by 97gpGT mentioned a smooth and linear powerband. Maybe the other reviewer was more in tune with spiky powerbands for whatever n/a or FI reasons and liked his power gushing through the top. If it was heavy up there, I'm sure other people would step in and complain about lack of low-end.
Seems a little chubby for a hatchback though. Seems like a good option for those that like a fair amount of neutral power delivery and neutral susp that can be pushed, all with some refinement. But I'd think those are more luxury sports sedan "wants", not a hatch.
04 Mazda 3s
5-spd, titanium grey
sport pkg, xenon & tpms pkg, abs & sab pkg, navigation
EVO magazine (in the UK) did a comparison test of the R32 against the RX-8. Here's the EVO comparison test. Bottom line - the RX-8 won the comparison, with this unforgettable summary:
But the RX-8 is sexier. Better looking. Quieter, smoother and more comfortable. Almost as fast. Better balanced. More fun to drive down a truly demanding road. And, perhaps because of all of that, more interesting. No, it doesn't have the Golf's macho bark. Nor its grip and instantly accessible grunt. If you're in a hot hatch frame of mind, it just won't do. But if you believe that the best drivers' cars are not necessarily the quickest, but those that blend dynamics and performance so seamlessly and cohesively that the driving experience is a powerful singularity rather than a collection of dazzling party tricks, the RX-8 hits the sweet spot with uncanny accuracy.
Life is too short to drive boring cars!
___________________________________ 2004 Ti Gray RX-8 - Canadian GT, 6 speed, no moonroof, delivered July 22, 2003 1996 Miata leather package, soon to be faster than the RX-8...
2002 Audi allroad wagon - 2.7 twin turbo, 6 speed manual trans
I like the R32, but it's not quite up to snuff performance wise with the STi and EVOVIII which will be it's main competition. VW is also eliminating a large portion of their tuner customer base by not making it a turbo. And the turbo kit from HPA makes it able to compete with an EVO with boltons... for 20K+ more. It will be a car for VW enthsiasts with too much money, which usually means you drive an Audi or a VW 1.8T with a lot of mods... If you have 55k to blow on an R32 and put a TT kit on it, buy a freaking S4 and put 10 in mods on it, or an M3 or a ton of other cars that can outshine this car in many categories... And my biggest complaints about VW and Audi is they can't seem to design a decent clutch (as far as feel goes) to save their lives, and their cars are heavier than would seem possible for what they are (the germans are good at this). The only thing that really matters to me in an interior is the steering/clutch feel, pedal placement, and a nice drivers seat. Let's hope they can get the steering and clutch right on the R32.
Originally Posted by dbb
Sure, the Evo is quick. But it isn't a drivers car. It's a point and shoot low-rent high-price go-kart. No soul, no driver feedback
Originally Posted by RX8_GT
Seems to me that the engines in the STI/Evo are basically max'ed out
Originally Posted by trusterotary307
i drove a new 06 speed 3 and its not half as fast as an 8.they suck in my opinion very uncomfortable and slow.
Originally posted by chinx remember, best motoring few months ago ran a mazdaspeed rx-8 against the r32. the mazdaspeed beat it by a very wide margin
awd can make up for weight or for lack of hp, or both. In one Top Gear head to head test (audi s4 v bmw m3) the car with awd was the fastest around the dispite being having slower straight line numbers and weighing hundreds more. the s4 won because it could accelerate out of corners sooner due to the awd. So i'm not suprised that the r32 won.