We now know that the Volkswagen Golf R is coming to the United States in early 2012. Some are questioning the switch from the VR6 engine found in previous R32 models to a more powerful version of the GTI's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine -- but given the high tuning potential of the 2.0T (to say nothing of the number of R32s that have been modified over the years), we thought we would show what the aftermarket could have in store for the R once it arrives.
This car was built as a test mule by software tuner GIAC in conjunction with development partner AWE Tuning. The turbo is a K04 unit as found on both the Golf R and Audi TT-S. It is running pump gas, but is also using a methanol injection system that adds octane as well as cooling the intake charge. Various other modifications were made to the engine, but the rest of the car is largely stock.
The car's best quarter-mile run clocks in at 12.888 seconds at 112.72 mph. The Golf R won't be quite this fast out of the box, but with a little tuning, this video shows the potential is there. While this GTI is running race tires, it also has an open differential so we can expect to see a much harder launch out of the all-wheel drive Golf R. Obviously, bigger turbochargers can be fitted to the GTI or The R, but this is a good representation of what the car will be able to do with just bolt-on modifications. This GTI has roughly $5000 worth of modification into the engine, but roughly $2500 of that figure is in the turbo kit, which is already standard on the Golf R. The greatest percentage of horsepower gains on the Golf R will come from software tuning, typically at a retail cost of well under $1000.
This video was filmed at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California. A list of modifications and specifics on conditions can be found in the video description. Check out the video here.