Sport compact cars are all the rage, and you’d think by the recent rash of small performance models and their popularity in American culture that the idea of these high-horsepower “pocket rockets” was a new one. In fact, VW pioneered the idea with the original GTI, and since 1983, Americans have consistently looked to Volkswagen dealers for cheap thrills.
Time has worn on, however, and today’s small car enthusiasts want more power. In response, Volkswagen produced a limited-production model called the R32 for 2004, equipped with a powerful V6 engine connected to a permanent all-wheel-drive system. Turns out that short-lived specialty model was just a preview of things to come, because for 2007, Volkswagen introduces a new Golf R32, based on the completely redesigned Golf three-door that is soon to arrive in America.
Like the previous car, the new 2007 Volkswagen Golf R32 is no stripes-and-spoilers special. Aiming squarely at the Subaru WRX STI and the Mitsubishi Evolution IX, the new R32 trades a bit of performance for a dose of refinement that Volkswagen hopes will lure some customers considering those rally-ready but rough-edged competitors to the more sophisticated and luxurious Golf R32.