If you’ve been living on a diet of ramen and peanut butter, trying to scrape together enough cash for a 2012 Volkswagen Golf R, we can finally tell you how much it’s going to cost. The two-door Golf R will start at $33,900 (excluding destination charge), while the four-door’s price of admission begins at $36,090 (also excluding destination charge). If $2,200 seems a bit steep for two doors, realize that it’s not an apples to apples comparison; the base model only comes in a two door, while the least expensive four-door also includes the sunroof and navigation package.
All Golf R models come with a six-speed manual transmission, and no DSG or automatic transmission is offered. They also get a 256 horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (the most powerful ever fitted to a Golf in the U.S.) and Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. Even the Golf R’s suspension and brakes are unique, ensuring that the Golf R is the best-handling car in the VW product lineup.
That said, Subaru STI and Mitsubishi Evo owners have nothing to fear. The Golf R isn’t aimed at the same market, and in stock form it won’t compete with either on a racetrack. Instead, the Golf R is aimed at a more mature (in other words, older) buyer who wants an entertaining commuter car that can still be flogged on the occasional track day. It’s not as fast as the Subie or Mitsi, but the interior is a much more refined place to spend time.
For the Volkswagen loyalist, we suspect that’s good enough, and we’re guessing that VW will have no trouble in selling every Golf R imported into the U.S.