It is easy to forget in today’s era of 400PS-plus hyper hatches with drift modes what an instant market leader the Mark V Golf R32 was when it appeared. The previous generation was only on sale for a couple of years and it was its successor that really cemented the ‘R’ badge’s place in the VW performance pantheon as a more grown-up alternative to the Golf GTI.
Video: Volkswagen Golf R32 | Future Classics
With the option of a DSG gearbox, leather interior and four-wheel drive, the R32 really was a cut above the rest of the hot hatch crowd. In performance terms its 3.2-litre VR6 broke the magic 250PS barrier, good enough for a sprint to 60 time in the low sixes and a top speed electronically curtailed at 155mph.
Its rivals were the Mitsubishi Evos and Subaru Impreza STIs of the day but none could approach the Golf’s refinement and desirability. Having hankered after an R32 in her teens presenter Becky Evans finally gets to drive one and chats to owner Tony Skelton about what it’s like to own.
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