M35, C70, RS4, and now R32

VW introduces the new version of its R32 sports car.

2008 Volkwagen R32 front

2008 Volkwagen R32 back

Forget about Skylarks and Colts, we like our cars with letter-number designations. VW helps us out by announcing the next generation of its hot hatchback, the VW R32. VW introduced the new generation of this performance-oriented car at the Chicago Auto Show. The R32 gets a 3.2-liter V-6 under the hood, producing 250 horsepower. Better yet, VW's brilliant Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) comes as part of the package. The DSG is a manual transmission that works the clutch for you, making shifts in 80 milliseconds. From our experience, it's a blast to use. And to distinguish the R32 from VW's GTI, a superfun car in its own right, the R32 also gets all-wheel drive. VW is keeping demand high by only making 5,000 of these sporty little cars, which means we'll have a tough time getting one to review at CNET Car Tech. The company is conducting a program where the first 832 of them can be reserved. As we understand it, current owners of the GTI and the older R32 will be invited to reserve the new one. The VW R32 goes on sale in August.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.


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