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2007 Chicago Auto Show: 2008 Volkswagen R32

Order Mine Now, Please
One of my favorite drives over the past few years was the first Volkswagen Golf R32, a 2004 limited-edition version of the last Golf. With a 250HP 3.2L V6, AWD, and a six-speed manual in a small, five-door hatchback, it was a blast to drive. VW imported only 5000 units.


At the 2007 Chicago auto show, Volkswagen introduced a new R32, this time using the latest Rabbit. The engine is the same 250HP 3.2L VR6, but instead of the six-speed manual it takes the six-speed DSG system, which means faster shifts than I can accomplish manually. To set it apart from regular Rabbits, the R32 takes standard eighteen-inch wheels and tires, R32 badging, a rear roof spoiler and body-color bumpers, side bump strips, door handles and mirrors. Standard equipment includes ESP, ABS, brake assist, and electronic brake distribution. The standard convenience feature list is more extensive than on regular Rabbits, including automatic climate control, heated seats, heated windshield wiper nozzles, a ten-speaker CD stereo, rain-sensing wipers, and cruise control.

On Line Order Placement
As before, VW will bring over 5000 R32s. Of those, 2000 will be brought over in 2007 and 3000 in 2008. The only sticking point is the price, which will be just over $32,000. For the performance and equipment level, it is a very reasonable price, but it still can seem like a big ticket for a Rabbit. If you want yours, you can go to an R32 microsite at and get in line to order one; the site will refer you to a dealer. The first 832 people to put money down on an order will get theirs in August 2007.

1 Comment

  • patrik| April 30, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Not offering this car with a 6-speed manual is baffling. A true sports car will ALWAYS have a manual transmission. ALWAYS.
    DSG is fine. But to not offer the 6-speed is puzzling indeed. The true enthusiasts are left scratching their heads at this bone-headed maneuver by VW.
    Also, the exclusivity offered by the original R is gone with the introduction of this model into the mainstream. An ordering site? Placing the series number on the steering wheels (132 of 5000, for example) is lame.
    It’s like those infomercials that tell you to call within 3 minutes and 50 seconds or else you won’t get the special offer. Nobody bothers to notice that those commercials are NOT LIVE.

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