Coming to America: Volkswagen GTI R-Series

02/01/2009   [Original: Car and Driver via Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, Hatchbacks, Volkswagen

Click above for a gallery of the Volkswagen GTI

As good as the Volkswagen GTI is, an infusion of extra power couldn't possibly hurt. VW's GTI R32 was a highly refined car, but buyers quickly realized that the 3.2L VR6's 250 horsepower was barely enough to compensate for the engine's added weight over the standard GTI's 2.0L turbo four and the R32's heavy all-wheel drive system. What's more, the R32 was short-lived; it's no longer available for the 2009 model year. Enter the GTI R-Series.

According to Car and Driver, VW will bring the R-Series to the United States, possibly to be named R20, featuring the powerplant from the Audi S3. Expect around 270 horsepower from a high-pressure 2.0L turbo engine - a 70-horsepower improvement over the standard GTI. That power will be funneled through either a standard 6-speed stick or dual clutch DSG transmission to the front wheels. Like some other high-power front-wheel drive cars, an electronic differential will try and cope with the inevitable torque steer.

As much as we'd love to see the big 3.6L V6 engine from the Passat stuffed under the GTI's hood, a small turbo four will likely make for a better handling package along with reasonably good fuel economy - definitely something to look forward to later this year as a 2010 model. Thanks for the tip, other man!

Gallery: 2009 Volkswagen GTI LIVE