The VW Golf R32 has been a cult favorite but it is a small cult. This is the R20 that will replace it more in step with the times. The R32’s V6 is gone and instead, there’s a 2-liter turbo inline-four making 270 horsepower, still coupled to VWs 4motion all wheel drive. By using a smaller engine with the turbo, MPG has bumped up 22% to 27 miles per gallon while getting up to 60 miles per hour in around the mid fives depending on whether you get a manual gearbox or a DSG automated dual-clutch.
Inside, things are Teutonic and business-like. We’ve seen that improved, hard drive based head unit before and generally liked it. And aside from the cheeky center-exit exhaust tips, the Golf R remains what is known for, a fast little car that gets down the road quickly with minimal ostentation. Look for it on sale in the U.S. around middle of 2010.