Everything we've heard about the VW Golf R, which is already on sale in Europe, says that it's all sorts of great. When it hits our shores this spring, it'll carry a base price of $36,595. And conspicuously missing from the features is the option to row your own gears. (UPDATE: A manual IS coming!)


For those that need reminding, the DSG-only Golf R has 296 horsepower from its 2.0 liter turbo four, all wheel drive, an aggressive stance, and some mean ass looks. It also has the option of dynamic chassis control (DCC) which is supposed to be sublime.

Models with DCC will run you $39,090. Compared to the current best hyper mad rally road car you can buy, the Subaru WRX STI, the Golf R's pricing comes in higher at all levels. It better be pretty damned good. Especially since the STI has a manual and the R currently does not.

Now, yes, complaining about the lack of three pedals is the oldest automotive journalist trope in the world, but the real frustration here is that VW just can't decide. The original R32 only had a manual in the US, the second gen R32 was DSG only. The third gen was manual only, while this fourth gen is currently DSG only. Yes, it has to do with federalizing different powertrains and placing bets on where they'll see the most sales and profits, but a lack of consistency sure is vexing. (We learned at the LA Auto Show that initial availability will be DSG only, but the manual will follow for the 2016 model year. All is forgiven.)

Also we aren't getting the wagon even though they're debuting it in Los Angeles. WTF.