A 2009 VW R32 For the U.S.? Nein!

Press and News Volkswagen

VW R 32

By Tony Borroz

Looks like VW is keeping the goodies to themselves again with word that the new for ’09 R32 will not be seeing the shores of the good ‘ol U.S. of A.

Hey wait a minute, didn’t VW do this before? didn’t they tease us with lots of pics of the R32, then say ‘No. we changed our mind. we’re not importing it to the U.S.’ Then they did bring it in anyway … well, they’re either messing with us again to stir up interest, or they really mean it this time.

For those of you unfamiliar with the VW’s R32 variant, think of it as a king of the hill, uber-GTi. Essentially, VW takes the latest Golf two door body, and upgrades everything in sight, but the most important tweaks happen to the drivetrain.

Under the hood is a 250hp V-6 that’s hooked up to VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system via a six-speed DSG transmission (no other tranny is available with the R32 package). Essentially this is VW’s answer/competitor to things like Subaru’s WRX and Mistubishi’s EVO, and perhaps, that’s where things fall down for VW.

When the first R32 showed up on these shores, people swooned about the build quality and overall fun of the car, but then they started paying attention to the numbers. Although it hang hung in there on 0 – 60 times and quarter mile sprints with both Subaru’s WRX and Mistubishi’s EVO, as I recall it stickered somewhere in the mid-30K range. A lot of people looked at the bottom line and decided that the WRX or the EVO was a better option.

It seems that for this go-round VW has been able to nudge the price lower, a little less than $33,000 ($1,800 more if you want the nav system), but that still might tip things in favor of the WRX or the EVO for some people … assuming that VW brings it over here. Which they say they are not. Really. Nope. Keeping it for themselves. Uh-huh, not importing it. Not for sale in the U.S..


C’mon VW, you know you want to. And you know there’s enough diehard VW over here that will pony up the bucks and buy it.

American car guys await your response.

Source: TheGarageBlog

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  • Pingback: Volkswagen Golf R

  • Will says:

    The one on sale now isn’t even listed on their web site. You have to search for it, it’s like they’re keeping it a secret. It didn’t matter anyway because the British version of this car’s top speed is 154 mph. On VW USA’s site, they list it at 130, and in fine print it says that U.S. versions are electronically limited to this speed. It really does not make sense for them to sell it in the U.S. market anyway. The U.S. idiots (I am an American living in New Jersey, but here I have to criticize my countrymen) have no clue what the word “handling” is. All they care about, as mentioned in this article, is drag racing which is ridiculous! It takes no skill to drag race. In this article, it mentioned quarter-mile times, but it never mentioned that this car will out-handle any other car. For this reason, it does not even deserve to be sold here. For the same price, most Americans will think “I can get a Mustang with a higher top speed than this!” What most Americans don’t realize is that the Mustang will spin out into a ditch the second you turn the steering wheel.

    For this reason, it is obvious why VW is not selling this in the U.S.

  • Derek says:


    For a manufacturer that isn’t taking the potential of diesel sales in the American market very seriously, I can’t imagine why VW is putting so much effort into marketing the Jetta TDI in America. I am pleased VW is marketing their TDIs and trying to change the misconceptions surrounding diesel engines.

  • LotusMonkey says:

    Interesting. A lot of my colleagues, pilates teachers, are driving VW’s and not knowing anything well except Japanese cars, I wasn’t sure why. Price is a HUGE factor, though. Better for VW to focus on the EU with car sales down in the US, though.

  • Noctambulare says:

    Unfortunately this response from VW is not that much of a surprise. The mfg’s impression of the European market vs the American market, especially in the topic of diesel, is that it will never sell in the good ole USA.

    It is interesting that DSG transmissions are becoming more and more “what things are going to be”. Some stat said less than 8% of new cars had manual transmissions last year. What am I going to do with my left foot – it gets all twitchy as soon as I put the key in ignition.

  • Looks like it would be fun, but still overpriced relative to what you can get from Japan. And, of course, as a disgruntled driver of a german car that took 12 trips to the shop last year, and is still not sorted, not sure I’d go near this over the alternatives. Maybe VW figured this out and is not bringing it here for that reason?

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