Hot Hatch

Europe Shortchanges America: Weaker Golf R and S3 for US

We should get 280 horsepower versus 296 offered in Europe.

Two of Europe’s finest and most affordable hot-hatches bound for US imports will arrive in weaker form than they are marketed in Europe. The 296 horsepower dual-injection Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3, which benefit from both direct and multi-port injection, have not been approved by the EPA for America. Beyond increasing power, the multi-port injection plays a role in decreasing carbon build-up, which is why European emissions authorities require it.

As a result, the cars we will get will only be direct-injected, making a total of 280 horsepower when they hit our local showrooms. Meanwhile, both models’ arrival dates are yet to be confirmed. While the Golf R was presented at the Detroit Auto Show last month, the new S3 has not yet been presented here. Even with the lower output, we can’t wait to get our hands on both these hot hatches, which should still be among the finest, most enjoyable rides in their price category.

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