Volkswagen‘s hottest of hatchbacks will make its way to U.S. soil, confirms the German automaker. A spiritual successor to the R32, the Golf R is part of VW’s new ‘R’ performance brand, and gets its motivation from VW’s always-impressive 2.0T turbocharged 4-cylinder rather than the old V6 in the R32.
While VW hasn’t released specs on the engine, in Europe it receives the same state of tune as in the Audi TT-S, making 265-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque. So far, VW USA will only say it’s a,”significant hp increase over GTI.”
Mated to VW’s 4MOTION AWD system and offered exclusively with a six-speed manual, the car should be able to hit 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds.
The upgrades don’t stop with the engine, however, with the full R model getting 18-inch wheels, a center-exit dual exhaust, upgraded brakes, a lowered suspension and a more aggressive stability control program. VW also plans to offer the car in both 2-door and 4-door hatch versions.
A special R interior will also be included with a special shift knob and steering wheel, although it’s not likely to be exactly like the Euro-spec model and we’d be surprised to see the same sports seats here in the U.S.
VW is likely to debut the U.S.-spec Golf R at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show as it moves ahead with a plan to uphold its brand with special high-performance models while it simultaneously pursues a plan to offer lower-priced volume models like the new Jetta and upcoming Passat replacement.
GALLERY: Euro-Spec VW Golf R
Official release after the jump:
GOLF R KEY MESSAGES
The European Golf R is simply the most powerful Volkswagen sports performance vehicle ever built. The car delivers the ultimate Volkswagen driving experience with dynamic handling, refined road manners and unprecedented power for a Golf. It is Volkswagen’s performance halo vehicle, and at the request of VW enthusiasts, the company is bringing it to the U.S. in 2012.
Key attributes: • 2.0L turbocharged engine with significant hp increase over GTI • 4th generation Haldex 4Motion – all wheel drive • Increased rotor diameter translating to improved braking • Sport tuned ESP • Upgraded sport tuned suspension • 2 door or 4 door • Manual Transmission Only • Unique 18″ alloy wheels • Unique steering wheel • Unique interior trim • Exterior R model badge and bodykit • R model shift knob • R model door sills • R model front and rear fascia with dual, center exit, exhaust