Volkswagen tried a different approach to the hot-hatch market and introduced the R32 in the fourth generation of the Golf's lineup in 2002, and did it again on the fifth generation in 2005.
The German carmaker is often credited as the inventor of the hot-hatch segment with the first Golf GTI. But with more and more competitors in that niche-market, it had to come with new ideas. Thus, it came with bigger engines, and the 3.2-liter V-6 seemed to be the answer to all its problems. To make thins harder for its competitors, it installed it on both three- and five-doors Golf's versions.
Even though the carmaker tried to hide the R32's true nature, the result was not a subtle car. The car showed its muscles under the appearance of a regular hatchback like a body-builder dressed in a long-sleeved shirt and docker pants. Since the engine was larger, it required more air to cool it, and the engineers installed a new apron with three taller grilles inside. In the rear, the carmaker placed a dual exhaust system mounted under the rear bumper. Its rear doors made the car look more standard, but the 18" light-alloy wheels raised some doubts about that.
Inside, the carmaker considered no need for subtle changes and dropped a pair of sport bucket seats with high bolstering as standard, with cloth upholstery. A leather-clad interior was available as an option. The carmaker installed the same infotainment unit on the center stack as on the rest of the Golf range.
Under the hood was a 3.2-liter V-6 naturally aspirated engine. Volkswagen paired it with a six-speed manual as the only transmission option and sent the power in all corners via an active center differential (Haldex-system).
ENGINE SPECS - 3.2L V6 6MT AWD (250 HP)
|Power:||184 KW @ 6300 RPM|
250 HP @ 6300 RPM
247 BHP @ 6300 RPM
|Torque:||236 lb-ft @ 2500 RPM|
320 Nm @ 2500 RPM
|Fuel System:||Indirect Injection|
|Top Speed:||155.3 mph (250 km/h)|
|Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph):||6.5 s|
|Drive Type:||All Wheel Drive|
|Tire Size:||225/40 R18|
|Length:||167.3 in (4249 mm)|
|Width:||69.3 in (1760 mm)|
|Height:||57.5 in (1461 mm)|
|Front/rear Track:||60.2/59.8 in (1,529/1,519 mm)|
|Wheelbase:||101.6 in (2581 mm)|
|Cargo Volume:||9.7 cuFT (275 L)|
|Unladen Weight:||3293.7 lbs (1494 kg)|
|Gross Weight Limit:||4563.6 lbs (2070 kg)|
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
|City:||15.8 mpg US (14.9 L/100Km)|
|Highway:||28.3 mpg US (8.3 L/100Km)|
|Combined:||22 mpg US (10.7 L/100Km)|
|CO2 Emissions:||257 g/km|