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VW Golf R32 With "Grandpa Spec" and 186,600 Miles Is Still an Autobahn Stormer

The Golf R32 is the Volkswagen by which all others should be measured, timeless yet ambitious in terms of engineering. Having this many cylinders in an old, small hatchback just makes it very appealing.
VW Golf R32 With "Grandpa Spec" and 186,600 Miles Is Still an Autobahn Stormer 5 photos
Photo: AutoTopNL/YouTube screenshot
VW Golf R32 With "Grandpa Spec" and 186,600 Miles Is Still an Autobahn StormerVW Golf R32 With "Grandpa Spec" and 186,600 Miles Is Still an Autobahn StormerVW Golf R32 With "Grandpa Spec" and 186,600 Miles Is Still an Autobahn StormerVW Golf R32 With "Grandpa Spec" and 186,600 Miles Is Still an Autobahn Stormer
Now, there are lots of old hot hatchbacks with interesting displacements that aren't the usual 2.0L turbo. For example, the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA sounds even better, but the R32 is seen as this collectible modern classic, which could have to do with its VW badge.

The model pre-dates the start of the hot hatch revolution. Back when it came out, Mercedes probably wasn't even considering the A45 AMG. A BMW 1 Series was pretty much your only other choice, so there is a decent amount of R32s on the market, but they're going up in price.

This one is very interesting to us because it's like a really weird time capsule. As YouTuber AutoTopNL puts it, it's got "grandpa spec" because of the tan plastic/leather plus the wood steering wheel. That's right; it looks like it belongs in an old Rolls-Royce but helps a VW hot hatch take corners.

The other noteworthy feature of this car is that it's got 298,577 kilometers or about 186,600 miles on the clock. Can you imagine? It takes guts to daily-drive a collectible, and we can't even fathom what it's like to source lots of spares for a collectible like this... while never getting the urge to change that steering wheel.

The horsepower is not mind-blowing. The R32's 3.2-liter six-cylinder makes 250 horsepower, so about the same as today's turbo four-bangers. But it's a very special VR6 layout that's designed to fit within the space of a four-cylinder and sounds pretty fantastic. This is an heirloom from a time when engineering really did set Volkswagen apart.

As you probably know, people like to put big turbos on this VR6 and double the power. But this old car gives us an insight into what it was like to buy a new R32 in 2005. Just 15 years ago, the Golf was a totally different car.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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