The 2012 VW Golf R creeps ever nearer to American showrooms. But it’s going to creep at a slightly slower rate than a Euro version would. That’s because the 2.0-liter turbo four has been de-tuned from 270 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque to 256 and 243. Sounds like emissions regulations had something to do with this. At least it’s still more powerful than a GTI (200/207), but there’s more bad news. There won’t be a DSG option when it goes on sale in the USA next year. It seems all the enthusiasts would prefer to change gears themselves with a six-speed manual ’box transmitting power to all four wheels. Nevertheless, we’re still looking at a zero-to-60 mph time well under six seconds, bigger brakes, special-design wheels and a leather interior. One of the few options will be whether to buy a three-door or five-door. Starting price should be around $33,000.
2012 Volkswagen Golf R - A lower-case R