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.