This is great news.
The Volkswagen Golf R is coming next week. We know this and we're excited as can be, but the video you see below is adding another dimension to our excitement. We've already seen spy shots of the interior and the exterior hasn't exactly been much of a secret, but so far, we haven't had much in the way of confirmation that there will be a manual version.
Fortunately, you can hear that the Golf R prototype in the video does indeed use the most fun gearbox type in the world, but whether we'll get access to it here or not is still to be determined.
We've already been robbed of the opportunity to experience the wagon variant of the Golf R, so we're fully prepared to feel the disappointment of being denied the manual R too. This would have been an easier pill to swallow had the new Golf GTI Clubsport been revealed with the option of a manual, but alas, rowing your own gears with smoothness and precision will become a dying skill as fewer and fewer buyers opt for the slower but more engaging option when buying new cars. Still, we hold out hope that Volkswagen will answer our prayers in this regard and bring the manual R here. After all, the car in the video is LHD, so it's definitely possible.
Whatever happens, we expect that the new R should be a hoot to drive thanks to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor that is likely to produce 328 horsepower. A Haldex-based AWD system will make for explosive launches off the line while a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster will sit behind the steering wheel alongside a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment display. There'll be unique seats with carbon-style accenting throughout the interior too. Outside, massive quad pipes will make the Golf R's sporting intentions obvious to all. This will likely be the last high-performance Golf to shun electric assistance, so whether we get the manual or not, we should savor the new model while we can still hear it.