The unit, which is mated to a six-speed 'box, also offers generous amounts of low-speed torque with 236lb-ft ready for use at 2800rpm. This means the R32 can make 62mph from standstill in 6.4 seconds and boasts a top speed of 152mph. Compared with the standard Golf, the R32 has a 30mm lower suspension, 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, large air inlets, redesigned sills and a redesigned rear bumper.
Interior trim features include aluminium-brushed racing-style pedals and gearstick. Climate control, ESP, Xenon headlights, ABS, four airbags and rain sensor wipers are standard.
The R32 is only available as a three-door hatchback and will be sold in limited numbers from the autumn. Volkswagen will announce prices closer to launch.