VW Golf R coming to Canada with 266-hp and AWD

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Remember the 3.2-litre VR6-powered, all-wheel drive Golf R32 introduced in 2004? No? Well, that may be because it was never sold in Canada. VW's U.S. division boosted its performance image with the R32, but the German automaker's Canadian division thought the specially tuned Golf would be too expensive by the time it was reconfigured to our unique bumper standard. The same rule kept the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution out of our market for years, and many other performance cars.

Volkswagen is singing a new tune now that the Government of Canada has modified the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (MVSR) resulting in a harmonized bumper standard with the United States and Europe, and its latest hopped up Golf is scheduled for Canadian consumption when it goes on sale next year as a 2013 model. But what about the other problem, price?

The strong Canadian dollar, sitting at $1.05+ at time of writing, takes care of any pricing concerns, although it likely won't come cheap. Early estimates peg the Golf R at $40,000 CAD (the U.S. version sells for $32,500, but likely with fewer standard features), which would bring it into Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Evolution territory, but don't worry Teutonic tuner fans, as the "R" in the name might as well stand for on 'Roids.

A turbocharged 2.0-litre TSI four-cylinder with a total of 266-horsepower (19 more than the old R32 and 3 more than the current Mazdaspeed3) and 258 lb-ft of torque combine with Volkswagen's well-proven all-wheel drive (the Mazdaspeed3 is front-drive only) to give the Golf R immediate street cred, and as long as VW maintains the current Golf's high-quality interior it will offer its buyers a premium-level experience to make WRX and Evo owners cringe after paying sticker prices that can top out over $50,000 in top-line trim.

There won't be a lot of cringing going on, however, being that VW Canada will only import 500 copies of Golf R for the 2013 model year.

Want one? Talk to your local dealer, and do it quickly. According to reports, orders are already being taken and knowing the zeal of the Volkswagen faithful the Golf R will likely sell out long before it arrives.

Your choice will be simplified due to a single body-style and option group, Canadian versions only coming in five-door guise compared to the U.S. where a three-door model is also offered. Additionally, a six-speed manual is the only transmission available, whereas the automaker's renowned DSG dual-clutch sequential-manual automatic with paddle-shift actuation is offered in the U.S. and Europe.

At least VW Canada will give you a choice of colours, with Candy White, Carbon Steel Grey Metallic, Deep Black Pearl, Rising Blue Metallic, and Tomato Red on the palette.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Hatchback, Volkswagen, VW, 2013, Golf R, $30,000 - $39,999, Compact,

Organizations: Volkswagen

Geographic location: Canada

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