Chicago Auto Show: US-Bound Volkswagen R32

Volkswagen execs say the 2004 Golf-based R32s are still so highly in demand that they've retained 85% of their resale value (seriously, check the eBay). And now, the company's shown off its long-awaited successor — right, the R32. Considering the updated model's been fitted for the VW/Audi DSG automanual, we're putting the epitome of hot hatches atop our must-drive list for 2007. And to those who were closed out of the previous model by low supply, prospective buyers can (soon) register as prospects on VW's R32 microsite on www.vw.com The first 832 people who place a deposit with an authorized Volkswagen dealer, the company says, will be eligible to secure one of the first R32 vehicles to be delivered in August 2007. Hurry!

Also, VW unveiled its new GTI Cup racer, part of a new VW single-make racing program to debut in 2008. Details to follow later this year.

Press Release:

HOT NEW R32 WARMS UP THE WINDY CITY WITH ITS NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT

CHICAGO - Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced the return of its motorsports-inspired R32 at the Chicago Auto Show. First introduced in 2004 to an enthusiastic reception, the R32 delivers the ultimate in Volkswagen sports performance with dynamic handling and refined road manners.

The R32's power comes from a 3.2 L naturally aspirated 15-degree narrow angle V6 engine. With 250 horsepower and 236 ft. lbs. of torque, the R32 is all muscle. The standard 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system transfers at least 75 percent of available torque to the rear wheels. Volkswagen's acclaimed DSG transmission allows for seamless gear changes and accelerates from 0-60 in approximately 6.4 seconds.

With a fully independent multi-link rear suspension that sits wider and lower than its GTI sibling, the R32 flaunts its authority both inside and out. Twin chrome exhausts, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, a uniquely shaped front grille and R32 badging distinguish this car from anything else on the road. A rear roof spoiler and deep front spoiler, coupled with body-colored bumpers, side bump strips, door handles and door mirrors, add to the streamlined, sporty look.

The R32 boasts a long list of safety features, including Electronic Stabilization Program that reacts to critical driving situations in milliseconds by controlling the speed of individual wheels; and a confidence-inspiring Anti-Lock Braking System that helps to prevent wheels from locking under heavy braking. Brake Assist boosts brake pressure in emergency braking situations and the state-of-the-art Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution automatically varies the amount of force applied to each of a vehicle's brakes based on road and driving conditions.

Inside, the R32 takes it cues from racing with aluminum-look foot pedals and deep front sports seats. Features such as automatic climate control (Climatronic ), ten-speaker premium CD stereo system, rain sensing wipers, automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror, heatable front seats and heated washer nozzles, anti-theft alarm, cruise control and trip computer are standard luxuries that complement this performance-driven champ.

Related:
Yes!: Volkswagen Rabbit R32 Coming to the US [internal]