Wednesday, August 17, 2005

R32 coming to US!!

OK so those of you who know me know that I'm kind of a kitschy car guy. I like a lot of cars that most people look at and say, why would you want something like that? Eventually I'd like to do a chopped and dropped Astro van, an old wood-side station wagon with an LT1, or a trick flat black lead sled.

Anyway, those are all future project cars. There are some I'd like to buy new.

One of the top 10 cars on my list right now is the VW R32. For those of you uneducated masses who don't know what an R32 is, or even what a GTi is, look here. The R32 is basically a GTi with an Audi-derived all wheel drive system, (VW calls theirs 4Motion, Audi's is Quattro) a sweet 3.2L VR6 engine, and other go-fast goodies. In the US only 5000 of them were made available (in stick, natch, which I can't drive,) and only in 2004. They didn't make them for 2005 and so far have no plans on making a 2006 model available. You can buy a used one, but so many of them have been thrashed by autocrossers because they were pretty much ready out of the box for that type of racing, or they were crashed or rolled by stupid teens that shouldn't have been driving a light weight, high horsepower car.

But there is good news. (Geico aside)

Because of the outrage the VW Group received when the North American R32 was discontinued, they are planning to release (well, it's been rumoured at least) the Mark V version of the sports car here again. Even better news, it could be released here as the R36: a 3.6L 300 hp version of the car, complete with an optional 4 doors and spiffy-cool DSG transmission. DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) is basically a transmission which has the performance aspects of a stick, but functions automatically. Think Ferrari's F1-dervied clutchless paddle-shift system but without the paddle shifters.

So maybe one of these days I can get a brand spanking new VW R32/R36 (and I won't be saving money on my car insurance.)

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