Blue Steel : VW Golf R32 (Mk IV)

No standard Golf has ever had such a powerful engine as the new Golf R32. Its 3.2L V6 engine is the same one used in the new Phaeton luxury sedan. The 6-cylinder engine fitted laterally in the R32 has a power output of 177kW / 241bhp (at 6250rpm) and it accelerates the most successful car in Europe to 100km/h in only 6.6 seconds.

After 26.7 seconds, this Golf has reached the kilometre mark from a standstill; the top speed is 247km/h. The activation of the throttle valve has been configured in such a way that the engine reacts with outstanding spontaneity and agility to every movement of the accelerator pedal.

Its very respectable maximum torque of 320Nm (between 2800 and 3200rpm) is distributed via a six-speed gearbox with reduced gear gates. In order for the R32 to make the most of this power on the roads, Volkswagen has equipped it with 4MOTION four wheel drive as standard.

Like all Golf petrol engines, the six-cylinder model in the R32 also meets the EU 4 standard. Its average fuel consumption is 11.5L/100km of Premium petrol with a minimum octane level of 95 RON.

The R32's V6 engine in detail
The Golf R32's four-valve six-cylinder engine is distinguished by its very acute 15-degree V angle. Two overhead camshafts with continuous intake and exhaust camshaft adjustment are used in the cylinder head. The adjustment angles are 52 degrees for the intake camshaft and 22 degrees for the exhaust camshaft. The valves are driven by roller rocker fingers with hydraulic clearance compensation. Each cylinder has its own ignition coil.

From a technical point of view, the 3.2L V6 engine, with its crankshaft with seven main bearings, is of a similar concept to the 2.8L engine which powers the Golf, Bora and Sharan V6. However, it has been improved in so many different aspects that it really ought to be regarded as a new generation of that engine. The exact displacement of this V6 is 3189cc and it boasts a compression ratio of 11.3:1; the bore and stroke dimensions are 84.0 and 95.9mm.

The improvements in the specific performance characteristics are not all down to the increased displacement. In order to achieve the much improved torque and power characteristics, the entire intake system has been redesigned. This was done by perfecting the flow geometry of the plastic intake manifold and the ducts in the cylinder head.

Not least, the cylinder head represents an entirely new development. The shape of the intake and outlet ducts, for example, has been significantly modified, with larger flow cross-sections to allow improved flow capacity.

The entrance to the intake ducts in the cylinder head has been raised, so that the deflection of the flow towards the valves takes place with a minimum loss of flow. In addition to this, our engineers have increased the diameter of the intake valves and improved the shape of the valve seat inserts.

The twin pipe exhaust system has also been specially designed. Not only does it help the engine meet the EU 4 standard, but it also does just what sporty drivers expect from a car – it makes it sound right. Our acoustics specialists have tuned the R32 to make every tunnel an experience, but without the sound becoming oppressive over long distances.

Running gear / four wheel drive
The layout of the Golf's running gear has influenced whole generations of compact class cars since the series was launched. This is especially true of the current version. Its McPherson struts and lower wishbones on the front axle make it one of the most highly regarded axle systems on the market.

The four-wheel drive Golf R32 also has independent rear suspension, with the wheel location provided by a multilink construction with forged dual-link trailing arm suspension. This is mounted on a subframe and coupled to the running gear via rubber vibration dampers.

This rear axle design allows the 4MOTION four wheel drive system to be accommodated. The anti-roll bars on both axles have been significantly strengthened compared to those on the Golf V6.

In addition to this, the Golf R32's running gear has been lowered by 20mm compared to the standard models. Compared to the Golf V6, the difference is 10mm. The shock absorbers and springs on the Golf R32's sports running gear come from two suppliers who specialise in meeting the requirements of standard and racing models. The R32's steering system has been completely redesigned. With more direct transmission, this Golf has extremely agile steering.

4MOTION – combining the best features of front and rear wheel drive
The Volkswagen 4MOTION four wheel drive system is a key technology in sporty, but above all safe driving. At the core of this method of power transmission to all four wheels is what is known as a Haldex coupling in the rear axle differential.

Its hydraulic and electronic systems automatically detect whether the front or rear wheels have more grip (for example due to the condition of the road or high power requirements) and distribute the tractive force to the two axles accordingly.

When driving the Golf R32, you hardly notice the work of the 4MOTION drive system. You only feel that there is no excessive understeering or oversteering. Even on wet roads or when accelerating quickly out of tight curves, there is no noticeable wheel slip, and extreme spurts do not cause the steering to jerk from torque steer, a trait that most high-powered front wheel drive cars are afflicted with.

In addition to this, you will not feel any wind-up in the drive train when manoeuvring into tight parking spaces. Its four wheel drive and 177 kW V6 engine thus make the R32 a unique combination in the Golf class.

To give it a deceleration that befits its quality, the Golf R32 has large, ventilated disc brakes at the front and rear (front diameter 334 mm, rear diameter 256 mm). The front brake system is based on the same technology which is used in the Passat W8. The brake callipers are painted blue, and are clearly visible behind the 18-inch “Aristo” alloy wheels.

The wheels are fitted with 225/40 ZR 18 tyres, whose width also has a positive effect on the brake deceleration. The active safety system, consisting of a neutral basic running gear alignment, the 4MOTION four wheel drive system and a powerful braking system, is enhanced by numerous other safety systems.

Besides the obligatory ABS and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), the most important of these is the ESP electronic stability program with its built-in brake assist system, which is specially tuned to the R32's dynamic driving style.

Body / interior
The 177 kW Golf R32 is not only an exceptional car in the compact class because of its V6 engine and standard 4MOTION four wheel drive system. The outstanding specifications also extend to the body and interior. Our devoted team of developers has designed a package of visuals and accessories which make the Golf R32 unmistakable both inside and out.

The interior – refined with new sports seats and aluminium fittings
The R32 philosophy also covers the interior. An example of this is that the seats, which were already considered good in the standard models, have been completely redesigned.

The sports seats, developed in co-operation with a German specialist, have especially well-defined side cushions for optimum support and all-round comfort, even on long journeys off the track.

For the first time in a Golf, the front head restraints have been integrated into the back rests. As well as this, heated front seats are a standard feature.

As with the seats, the R logo can be found on the redesigned leather steering wheel (with its ergonomically padded rim), on the dashboard, on the gear lever knob and on the foot mats, which match the colour of the seat covers.

As well as this, there are many brushed aluminium components to provide a luxury look in the interior. These include the pedal cluster and side foot rest (in the special R design), the handbrake release button, the centre console trim and the inside door handles.

Also made of solid aluminium are the sturdy but elegant door sill trims, which again feature the R32 logo, standing out in gloss on a brushed background.

Speedometer up to 300km/h and modified dash panel
The speedometer has been redesigned and matched to the top speed; the scale extends up to 300km/h. In the same way as the rev counter, this instrument has been placed inside decorative chrome rings.

The central pivot heads of the needles on all the instruments match the colour of the aluminium parts. As well as this, the R32 is set apart from the other Golf models by its modified dash panel.

The Golf R32 body – powerful and unique
Volkswagen is offering the Golf R32 as powerfully designed two-door model – a four-door version will follow this year. In order to meet the requirements of its new technology and improved performance, significant changes have been made, especially to the front and rear sections.

At the front, the compact sports car stands out from the rest of the series with the pronounced dynamic design of its bumpers. More precisely, it now has three large honeycomb ventilation grilles in the lower section of the front apron, whose shape and function are highly reminiscent of top-class coupés, and also indicate the increased cooling air requirements of its large 3.2L engine.

The completely redesigned bumper also extends far down, thus also acting as an effective front spoiler. The Golf R32, with its top speed of 247km/h, also has a characteristic chrome logo on the radiator grille.

Side sill panels and impressive 18-inch alloy wheels
The sides of 4-wheel drive model are dominated by its sill panels and the specially designed “Aristo” 18-inch light alloy wheels. With a total of 15 spokes, these are a completely new interpretation of the spoke wheel concept.

As well as this, they are designed to provide optimum cooling for the brake system. Since the running gear is 20 mm lower than that of the standard Golf, the wheels and tyres seem to almost completely fill the wheel arches – an appearance that can otherwise only be found in motor sport. Between the wheels, the new widened sills provide a consistent optical connection to the front and rear apron, which extends further down than on the classic Golf.

New rear bumper with integrated exhaust tailpipes
Like the front bumper, its equivalent at the rear has been redesigned to harmonise with the body. The project team has integrated the two chrome-plated tailpipes of the double exhaust system into the rear bumper. The top edge of the tailgate has been shaped as a perfectly aerodynamic spoiler to reduce lift on the rear axle.

All the body attachments are painted in the same colour as the rest of the car. The standard choices of colour for the R32 are “reflex silver metallic”, “deep blue metallic” and “black magic pearl effect”. Darkened tail lights and Xenon headlights, which are both standard, and exclusive blue-tinted heat-insulating windows complete the clear, high-tech visuals.

Golf R32 – complete set of equipment as standard, including Climatronic and an alarm system
We have made no compromises in the complete equipment of the new Golf R32. The equipment is based on the standard features of the Golf V6, the previous top-of-the-range model, but has been significantly extended.

Details such as an electronically controlled automatic air-conditioning system (Climatronic), a gamma radio system, a rain sensor, an automatic anti-dazzle interior mirror and an anti-theft alarm thus complete a package of equipment supplemented by six possible special equipment features.
1.: One of three different built-in CD players/changers.
2.: Leather or Alcantara/leather interior.
3.: An extended radio system or radio navigation system.
4.: Heated windscreen washer nozzles.
5.: Sliding/tilting glass sun roof.
6.: Car phone or basic phone fitting, including hands-free system.

The equipment overview

· Airbags for driver and front passenger
· Anti-lock brake system
· 4MOTION four wheel drive
· Electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors
· Two cup holders in the front and rear
· Height-adjustable front passenger seat
· Decorative chrome rings on round instruments
· Brushed aluminium decorative inlays for dashboard and ashtray lid. Door handles and openers also in aluminium
· Anti-theft alarm with interior motion sensor and back-up horn
· Easy Entry
· Electric windows
· Radio remote control for central locking, 2 folding keys with radio remote control
· Aluminium pedals
· Cruise control system (CCS)
· Split rear seats
· Leather handbrake lever with aluminium release button
· Tailgate with integrated spoiler
· Interior light with delayed switch-off
· Automatic anti-dazzle interior mirror
· Isofix mountings
· Climatronic air conditioning
· Curtain airbag system
· Choice of metallic or pearl effect paintwork
· “OZ Aristo” 7½ J x 18 light alloy wheels with wheel locks
· Leather-rimmed 3-spoke sports steering wheel with R32 Logo
· Multifunction display (MFD)
· “gamma” radio system
· Umbrella
· Rain sensor
· Tyre size 225/40 ZR 18
· Gear lever knob with R32 logo in the trim
· Leather gear lever boot
· Ventilated front and rear disc brakes with blue callipers
· Headlight washer system
· Key ring with R32 logo
· R32 logo on radiator grille and rear (instead of Golf logo)
· Side airbags for driver and front passenger
· Sports running gear: 10 mm lower than Golf V6, 20 mm lower than basic Golf
· Heated front seats
· Sports seats at the front with well-defined side cushions, built-in head restraints and R logo on the central section of the seat
· Textile foot mats in front (with R logo) and rear
· Blue-tinted heat-insulating windows
· Xenon headlights

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