2008 Volkswagen R32

David Axberg
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The athletic yet sophisticated Volkswagen R32 has returned to fight the Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution again this year. Like the first generation car, the new R32 is a Golf/Rabbit based three-door that uses a glorious 3.2 liter VR6 rated at 250 horsepower. All-wheel-drive returns as well, but this time it will be controlled by Volkswagen's quick shifting DSG twin clutch gearbox, rather than a six-speed manual.

The first generation car was loveable because while it was not quite as fast as the Subaru WRX STi or the Mitsubishi Evo, it was much more useable on a day-to-day basis. Tradition should continue with the new model, since the fifth-generation Rabbit and GTI are both fantastic daily commuters, and the latter even took our Automobile of the Year prize home.

While even the base Rabbit is a nicer place to spend time than the Evolution and WRX STi, the R32 is loaded up with luxury and safety goodies. Climate control, a ten-speaker stereo, rain-sensing wipers, and bi-xenon headlights are all standard, as is stability control.

This new R32 should pick up where the last one left off: by continuing to provide owners the with satisfaction of having a fast, comfortable, practical, good looking car that is easy to live with on an every-day, any-weather basis.

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