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First Drive: Volkswagen Golf R

Maker reveals pricing, specs for mean little hatch.

by on Oct.05, 2011

At 256 hp the new 2012 VW Golf R makes 6 more horsepower than the 2008 Golf R32 VR6.

Few makers have been doing better in the U.S. market, in recent months than Volkswagen, which posted a solid 36% jump last month as new models like the 2012 Passat and third-generation Beetle rolled into showrooms.  Anyone who wonders whether VW can keep the momentum going might just consider what else is in the product pipeline – starting with the 2012 Golf R.

The German maker is just making things formal, releasing pricing and specs on the mean little hatch – which we had a chance to spend a brief bit of time scooting around the Virginia countryside in a few weeks back.

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With its well-equipped interior – and a 256-horsepower turbocharged inline-four – the Volkswagen Golf R is destined to change the perceptions of anyone out there who might think the German 5-door is just a gussied-up econobox.

First, the numbers: the 2012 Golf R will set you back $33,990 plus destination charges.  That’s very definitely not econobox territory.  This is a sporty compact for those who believe that very good things can come in small packages – if you’re willing to pay the price.

The 2012 VW Golf R will be offered in both 3- and 5-door packages.