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 |  Oct 05 2011, 11:15 AM

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It’s almost here… the most powerful Golf to ever be sold on U.S. soil, and Volkswagen has just released official pricing with the 2-door model starting at $33,990. An over $10,000 premium from the GTI, the Golf R adds custom bodywork, a retuned suspension system, 18-inch wheels and upgraded brakes, plus tighter steering. But that’s only the start, with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine’s output being increased to 256-hp and 243 lb-ft of torque – up from 200-hp and 207 lb-ft in the GTI. Available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, fuel economy is rated at 19/27 mpg. And let’s not forged that like the old R32 models the Golf R gets VW’s 4MOTION AWD system, which can deliver up to 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels.

Standard equipment on the two-door Golf R includes bi-Xenon headlights, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, heated leather seats, a leather steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetoooth, an eight-speaker audio system with aux. and iPod hookups, not to mention power windows with auto up/down.

On sale in early 2012, VW will offer a Sunroof and Navigation package (that also includes keyless entry and a push-button ignition) bringing the total to $35,490, while 4-door models will retail for $36,090. The Golf R will be available in five color options: Rising Blue, Candy White, Carbon Steel Gray, Black, and Tornado Red.

GALLERY: 2012 Golf R

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Read AutoGuide’s 2010 Volkswagen GTI Review here