New Volkswagen Golf R32  

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New edition of most powerful Golf ever

  • 4MOTION plus V6: Perfection for the fast lane in automobile life
  • DSG plus V6: Fast shifts and even faster acceleration

Central Aspects

By introducing the first Golf R32 based on the fourth generation of the best-seller, Volkswagen successfully met the demand for an exclusively equipped and high-power flagship Golf. The 177 kW / 241 hp sports car with its individual looks and standard four-wheel drive represented a venture into a new segment of high-power compact and midrange vehicles — a previously underdeveloped area. It did so impressively as the Golf R32 was an immediate market success.


First-generation Golf R32 sparked off rush for powerful compacts in 2002

After the introduction of the first Golf R32 in August 2002, the size of this small niche suddenly exploded. Between 2001 and 2003, the volume of this sub-segment tripled in western Europe from 6,248 to 20,369 units per year – one in four top compacts was a Golf R32 in 2003. Even though the fifth generation of the Golf was launched in 2003, we continued to deliver the Golf R32 based on the fourth generation throughout 2004. Production of the Golf R32 did not stop until the end of that year after a total of 14,000 cars had been sold across the globe. The launch of the new R32 will end this period without a six-cylinder Golf.


Perfect synthesis of six cylinders, four-wheel drive and classless Golf superiority

One look at the current Golf range shows how Volkswagen is constantly expanding the spectrum of the Golf series – in a sporty direction in particular. Since the introduction of the current generation, the Sportline version (up to 110 kW / 150 hp) forms the sports entry-level. The next level of dynamic driving is provided by the Golf GT, which is available with two 125 kW / 170 hp engines (Twincharger and TDI) and was presented at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. The legendary best-seller, the 147 kW / 200 hp Golf GTI, is positioned above that. While the front-wheel drive Golf GT and GTI have turbo-charged four-cylinder engines, the exclusively equipped Golf R32 features a six-cylinder engine and four-wheel drive. The agile 2.0-litre turbo engine in the GTI and high-performance 3.2-litre V6 in the R32 play a major role in the positioning. While the attraction of the Golf GTI is its character as a purist icon of sportiness offering straightforward driving fun, the special appeal of the now 184 kW / 250 hp Golf R32 lies in the superior technical combination of six cylinders, four-wheel drive and a classless appearance that only a Golf can offer in this segment.


3.2-litre displacement, 320 Newton metres and a powerful kick at low-rev ranges

The heart of the new flagship Golf is a four-valve six-cylinder. Its sonorous sound is true to its excellent power development. The engine pushes the Golf forwards from any rev range as if there was no air resistance. Power to weight ratio: 6 kg/hp. Together all cylinders deliver 184 kW / 250 hp (at 6,300 rpm). The 3,189 cm3 V6 produces its maximum torque of 320 Newton metres between 2,500 to 3,000 rpm. The performance of the new Golf R32 is therefore incredible. The five-seater with a top speed of 250 km/h catapults its passengers from nought to 100 km/in just 6.5 seconds. As standard, the engine output is transferred to all four wheels via a manual six-speed gearbox and 4MOTION. Volkswagen offers the new Golf R32 with the DSG direct-shift dual-clutch gearbox as an option. This unique automatic shifts extremely fast and precisely. The DSG version of the Golf R32 can accelerate to 100 km/h three tenths of a second faster, i.e. in 6.2 seconds. The Golf R32 races to the 1,000 metre line in 26.7 seconds with both gearboxes – these figures make this Volkswagen a top-class sports car that will be hard to beat.

In terms of design, the four-valve six-cylinder engine has a narrow V-angle of 15 degrees between the cylinder banks. The bore is 84.0 mm and the stroke 95.9 millimetres. Each of the four overhead camshafts – two per cylinder bank – use continuous timing adjustment. The adjustment angle is 52 degrees on the inlet side and 22 degrees on the outlet side. Roller rocker arms with hydraulic play compensation operate the valves. Each of the six cylinders is assigned its own ignition coil.


Six gears as standard; DSG is currently the most exciting automatic

The DSG automatic dual-clutch gearbox features a particularly attractive way to change gears. It is optionally available for the Golf R32 as alternative to the standard six-speed gearbox. The transverse mounted DSG combines the agility and economy of a conventional manual gearbox with the convenience of an automatic. You can also select gears manually using the paddles on the standard multifunction steering wheel or the selector lever. The DSG has six forwards gears just like the manual gearbox. The Golf R32 with DSG consumes 9.7 litres of fuel every 100 kilometres on average. Equipped with the standard six-speed manual gearbox, this sports car consumes 10.7 litres. DSG is truly revolutionary in terms of automatic consumption figures.

Golf R32 and DSG are also a proven combination: The predecessor of the current flagship Golf was the world’s first car to feature the dual-clutch gearbox. Incidentally, the fact that the DSG is used in the new Bugatti Veyron indicates the potential of this superb technology.

Four-wheel Drive

4MOTION distributes the power to all four wheels via a Haldex coupling

The new Golf R32 converts its power reserves into continuous forwards movement by means of 4MOTION four-wheel drive. The advantage is that there are no traction problems on wet roads and there is not even a hint of torque steer. The first 4MOTION system made it debut in 1998 as a follow-up to the syncro drive. The system used in the new Golf R32 appeared in this form for the first time about a year ago in the current generation of the Golf.

Technically the most important 4MOTION element is the latest generation of wet (oil bath) plate clutch. It is called a Haldex coupling because it was developed by our long-term system ­partner Haldex in Sweden. Compared with a purely mechanical Torsen differential, the Haldex coupling has the decisive advantage that it can be controlled electronically. It therefore works in perfect harmony with the anti-lock braking system (ABS), the traction control system (TCS), the electronic differential lock (EDL) and the electronic stabilisation programme (ESP) – all of these driver assistance systems are standard in the Golf. Thanks to the electronic control, it now reacts even faster, more precisely and quieter. It has allowed us extended the maintenance intervals from 30,000 to 60,000 kilometres.

In principle, four-wheel drive technology is particularly advantageous in the wet, on ice and snow and is superior to rear wheel drive in particular. But also on dry roads, 4MOTION improves the lateral guiding force and therefore the active safety.


The multi-link rear axle for the Golf was designed for use with front-wheel and four-wheel drive from the very beginning

The dynamic safety chassis for the new Golf R32 provides an impressive synthesis between sportiness and comfort. The front wheels are mounted on a strut axle. A highly innovative multi-link layout is used at the rear. It made its debut in the current Golf. The multi-link rear axle is suitable for use with front-wheel and four-wheel drive. It can also be adapted for other models.

The Golf R32 comes with 18-inch Zolder alloy wheels as standard. They reveal the blue-painted brake callipers and vented discs of the high-performance 17-inch braking system. The high-performance 225/40 tyres with directional tread pattern have the speed index rating Y and are therefore approved for speeds up to 300 km/h for your safety. The centre of balance has been lowered as the total height has been reduced by 20 millimetres (thanks to the standard sports chassis set-up).

The rear axle on the Golf R32 deserves particular attention: The modern multi-link rear axle for the four-wheel drive Golf R32 proves its full performance potential. It allows a rare combination of excellent handling and superior comfort characteristics in this class. The precise handling is characterised by impressive safety reserves and extraordinary agility. Thanks to the sophisticated four-link construction, the longitudinal and transverse forces acting on the rear wheels are absorbed specifically and independently of each other. This allows precise guidance of the wheel and thus clearly defined handling in all conditions.

Front axle in detail: Numerous detailed modifications compared with the predecessor improve the performance characteristics of the proven strut front axle. The high transverse stiffness of the front wheel suspension ensures noticeable improvements in agility. Highly effective anti-roll bar connections reduce the body roll when cornering. The steering precision benefits from the more direct ratio of the electromechanical steering (EPS = Electrical Power Steering).

Brakes in detail: A sophisticated sports car should brake just as well as it accelerates. The new Golf R32 certainly meets this requirement. Vented disc brakes with a generously dimensioned diameter of 345 millimetres at the front and 310 millimetres at the rear. The brake callipers are also a striking feature. For the R32, they have been painted blue instead of red as in the Golf GTI. In combination with the standard dual-brake assist, braking values are achieved, which do indeed meet the demand for braking performance on the same level as the acceleration. Like all Golfs, the R32 also comes with the ESP electronic stabilisation programme.


All three sporty Golf derivatives – GT, GTI and R32 – have their own individual body features

Front design: The new model is distinguished more greatly from the other derivatives in the series than the first Golf R32 was. If we take the front, for example, like the current Golf GTI and Golf GT, a completely individual radiator grille has also been developed for the Golf R32. The design and aluminium look of the R32 grille also distinguish it from the GTI and GT front. Particularly the lower part of the grille shows great modulation in the style of classic sports cars. Double aluminium-look bars in the upper section of the radiator form a further R32 styling element.

At the side of the radiator grille, two additional large intakes complete the air supply. Furthermore, in contrast to all other Golfs, the lower third of the front bumper on the R32 is painted completely in the body colour and there is an airflow element on each side that sweeps along the side skirting to the rear bumper.

Rear design: The rear bumper on the new Golf R32 is also completely painted in the body colour. Only the centre segment, styled like a diffuser, is black. The twin round polished stainless steel tail pipes have been integrated next to each other to make a striking feature.

Silhouette: Looking at the Golf R32 from the side, the 18-inch alloy wheels (“Zolder” model) are striking. Featuring a total of 20 spokes, they are based on the design of the first R32 wheels. You can also see the blue-painted brake callipers through the spokes. At the front, these are combined with 345 mm discs and 310 mm discs at the rear. A prominent R32 logo replaces the Golf badge on the tailgate. A further sign that clearly identifies the sophisticated top model is the optional exclusive Deep Blue Pearl Effect paintwork. As standard, Volkswagen delivers the Golf R32 in either Tornado Red or Black. Furthermore another four metallic and pearl effect finishes are available at an extra cost.

R32 measurements: The dimensions of the Golf R32, which is available as a two-door and four-door, only differ slightly from the other versions. There are small changes, of course, due to the new front and rear design as well as the 20 millimetre lower sports chassis. The Golf GTI and GT also have similar small distinguishing features. Therefore we will use the basic Golf model as a comparison: While the Golf Trendline is 1,759 millimetres wide, 1,485 millimetres tall and 4,204 millimetres long, the Golf R32 is exactly 4,246 millimetres long (+ 42 mm) and 1,465 millimetres tall (- 20 mm). The width is the same.


Metal, leather and optional all-new sports bucket seats ideal for long-distance driving

The interior features numerous details that are only available in this smart sports star of the Golf series. They include the elegant “Engine Spin” trim as well as a specially designed gearstick knob and a perforated-leather sports steering wheel with R logo that has a very pleasant feel. This emblem is also located around the head restraints on the standard sports seats with “Monte Carlo” fabric on the centre panels. Volkswagen offers the newly designed sports bucket seats as an option for this model. Thanks to their special contours, these seats, which were specially developed by Volkswagen together with Recaro, have even greater side support, They also bear an embossed R logo. The backrests on the folding bucket seats with broad shoulder areas and integrated head restraints can be adjusted on both sides of the seat. The back rest is unlocked using the belt guide. The bucket seats have a very sporty look, but are still practical. The cockpit pays tribute to the powerful temperament of the 250-hp Golf with a graphic adapted for the speedometer that goes up to 300 km/h. The characteristic R-banner logo also appears on the anti-slip rubber grips on the stainless steel-look pedal caps.

Standard Equipment

Equipment corresponding with luxury-class saloon; standard Bi-Xenon headlights

In addition to the characteristic features for this top model, the new Golf R32 has everything you could desire in terms of standard equipment. This includes Bi-Xenon headlights, Climatronic (automatic air-conditioning system), the RCD 300 Plus radio system with ten loudspeakers, the automatic dimming rear-view mirror with integrated rain sensor, the coming home/leaving home light functions, an anti-theft alarm system with interior monitoring and tow-away protection.

Body-coloured bumpers, widened sill panels, bump strips, door handles and door mirrors underline the elegant sportiness of the body, which is available as a two and four door. A large, but smart rear spoiler makes the roof line look longer. It also improves the downforce on the rear axle and thus ensures more stable handling at higher speeds. The blue tinted heat-insulated glass reduces the build-up of heat in the interior when the car is in direct sunlight.

The safety of this top athlete also benefits from the extensive equipment. In addition to front and side airbags, the Golf R32 also has a head airbag system for the front and rear passengers. Three-point automatic seat belts are provided on all five seats. The driver and front passenger are also protected by belt tensioners and belt force limiters. The Golf R32 also features the ESP electronic stabilisation programme, ABS and supplementary control systems

Optional Extras

Short but sweet, audio and navigation systems and a new generation of seats

Due to the extensive standard equipment, the list of options on offer is quite short. They are basically limited to features like leather interiors, an electrical sliding/tilting sunroof, different audio, sound and navigation systems (latter also DVD-based), alloy, snow chain-compatible winter wheels with 205/50 R 17 tyres, “ParkPilot” parking aid at rear, cruise control (CCS), telephone preparation with hands-free system, two winter packs (one with auxiliary heating) and walnut décor trim. The sports bucket seats, which were specially developed for the Golf R32, will be particularly interesting for sporty drivers. The head restraints are integrated into the backrest on these seats.

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