Subaru’s WRX STI is the fastest n’ most furious turbo all-wheel-drive thing going… right?
At least, not anymore.
The new king is VW’s Golf R – the “R” for returned after a two-year hibernation. Well, not really. The R is just VW-speak for really, really, really quick. Those two years in the garage? Time well spent.
How’s zero to 60 in the high fours grab you?
This leaves the Soobie (which is solidly in the fives) sucking the VW’s jetwash.
The handling is phenomenal, too. This is a car that will test your limits – and nerves – as a driver far more than most drivers will have the nerve or the skills to test its limits.
Even better, you’ll be able to make the attempt – and probably get away with it. Because unlike a WRX STi – which has that fast n’ furious rep as well as the bodywork to go with it (both guaranteed to draw cops like drunks to dive bars… and incline them toward mercilessness for the slightest speed infraction) the Golf R looks more or less like, well… a Golf.
And Golfs are responsible citizens, yes?
The one downside is the price – which is steep. But then, a WRX STi isn’t cheap, either. And if you look at it from another angle, the new Golf R is actually a bargain compared with, say, a Mercedes GLA AMG45 – which is a similar package and a similar performer (virtual dead heat) but orders of magnitude more expensive.
The Golf R is kind of like Bane – the super villain who broke Batman’s back (in the comics). Only the R breaks the back of four-wheeled (and all-wheel-drive) rivals like the WRX STi.
It is without peer – performance-wise – among cars of this type and in this class.
Base price is $36,595 – $39,090 for a top-of-the-line model with Dynamic Chassis Control (driver-adjustable suspension) and navigation.
A Subaru WRX STi starts at $35,290 – with a top-of-the-line Limited listing for $39,290.
Given the R’s pushing $40k price, potential buyers might also want to cross-shop it against the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG, which starts at $48,300. While the Benz is also a berserker of the first order – and has the prestige-brand cachet – it’s also about $14k more to start.
Which makes the R look like a deal.
Because it is.
After two years off the market, Golf R returns – with a vengeance. The ’15 R is two full seconds quicker to 60 than the previous (2013) Golf R.
And – wait for it – more fuel efficient, too.
In addition to the up-rated engine and hair-whitening acceleration, the R also gets a cornucopia of complementary suspension, brake and steering enhancements as well as R-specific options – such as the available driver-adjustable Dynamic Chassis Control, which includes a very fast n’ furious Race setting.
Nearly 300 hp out of a little 2.0 four … you do the power-per-liter math.
30 on the highway, too.
As quick as a Benz GLA45 AMG; costs almost one base-trim Golf less to buy.
DSG automated manual – or six-speed manual manual.
Tall-roofed Golf goodness provides class-best interior/cargo-carrying room.
More on the down-low than the WRX STi.
Just the one (five-door hatchback) body for now. Lesser GTI is available in both three-door hatch and five-door hatchback versions.
VWs – all of them – have a weird, VW-specific cable for hooking up iPods and other devices that can be slightly awkward to deal with.
UNDER THE HOOD
A lot, apparently, can be done with very little.
VW (like Mercedes and the GLA) begins with a 2.0 liter four. It’s not a whole lot of engine, is it?
Or – in engineering terms – there’s not a lot of cylinder volume to work with. An engine makes power by burning a mix of air and gas, the resultant power determined to a great extent by how much of that mix can be gotten into the cylinders. Hence the old saying, there’s no replacement for displacement.
Except, there is.
Or rather, there is an alternative to it.
By pressurizing the incoming air-fuel charge, one can cram more of it into each of the engine’s cylinders – effectively increasing the engine’s displacement by increasing the volume of air/fuel being consumed. The beauty if this is power… on demand. When not being force-fed, the engine goes back to being little. A big engine is always big – always gulping down large volumes of air/fuel. That’s why they’re gas pigs. The turbo VW isn’t – if you can resist the temptation to call up the turbo by pushing hard on the acceleration… which is kind of like expecting Cheap trick at the Budokan in ’78 to not avail itself of screaming groupies.
I mean, c’mon.
But, you could – and that’s the thing.
Turbocharging makes it possible – politically possible – for car companies like VW to build cars this powerful because they can also be this efficient (in this case 23 city, 30 highway – superb for a car capable of making a 4.8-4.9 second 0-60 dash). This is close enough to the pending (2016) 35.5 MPG fuel-efficiency fatwa issued by the federal government such that VW won’t get hammered too badly. Won’t have to sweat “gas guzzler” taxed added to the R’s sticker price… at least, not too much.
Something, by the way, is afoot at the Circle K. Note that the R’s rated output (292 hp) is not as high as the Subaru WRX STi’s claimed 305 hp. Yet the VW is quicker.
The STI is in the low fives – the R in the high fours.
Oh, and the Subaru’s also a rummy drunk at the pump: 17 city, 23 highway. That will not stand for long given the 35.5 MPG CAFE rigmarole that goes into effect next year. This car is as much on the endangered species list as traditional V8 muscle cars because of if its appetite. Not so much because of how much it drinks per se, but because of how high the “gas guzzler” fines will soon be.
Hell, traditional V8 muscle cars like the current Mustang GT and Camaro SS get about the same or better gas mileage than the STi – despite having engines literally twice the size. In any event all of them are going to become more expensive to sell – which will make them harder to sell.
Which will make it more likely they won’t be sold at all.
Wait and see.
The R – like the WRX STi and the Benz GLA 45 AMG – is an all-wheel-driver. This is necessary to cope with the tremendous output, which would otherwise be piped through the front wheels (because these cars, unlike V8 muscle cars, are all built on a FWD-based layout).
Without AWD to spread the abuse, something would probably break – or you’d be jumping into the next lane via torque steer.
The AWD system hooks it all up with fully-warranted reliability and lets you focus on sussing out cops rather than fighting to steer the thing in a straight line.
Which is a good thing, because it’s a bullet – a high velocity hollow point that’s within a few tenths of supercar quick. The quickest stuff out there is in the high threes, 0-60 – and we’re talking about stuff like the Corvette Z06 and Dodge Hellcat now. Stuff that also costs easily twice as much and comes with a much higher profile, which is completely counterproductive if you intend to actually use these animals as opposed to posing in them like Better Call Saul (toupee and all).
In its class, the R is untouchable.
The Ford Focus ST and Mini Cooper S are Hoods to the R’s Bismarck. Don’t get within range of the VW’s big guns or you will be sorry. But the R’s real target is the WRX STi, which is a fairer fight (being about the same price and being also AWD – the Focus and the Cooper are front-drivers). But the end result is the same:
The R wins.
Perhaps the Subaru is the better track-day choice, if at-the-limits handling is a factor… and it’s only factor if the driver is a pro or operating at that level, someone with the skill to reach those limits (in either car). And very few non-pros fall into that category. On the street, the decisive factor will be which car pulls harder – and that would be the VW.
The STi, meanwhile, rides like a track-day car. Which is fine on the track… not so much on the street.
The R is the better everyday car because it’s the more livable car. Both the suspension and the seats have enough give built into them to make the R a car you could comfortably commute in, if you wanted. The STi is lots of things – and lots of fun when sideways, on boost. But an everyday driver, it’s not … unless you’re into pain. It’s harsh, loud and obnoxious. Things teenage boys love.
The R is for grown ups.
Who still have teenaged impulses.
It’s nice that VW offers you the choice of shift-for-yourself (manual six-speed) or let it shift for you (Direct Shift – DSG – automated manual). Normally, I prefer the manual manual just because it’s more hooliganish, even if the automated manual shifts better (faster, more perfectly) than I can. But here it’s a toss up. The DSG is a superb transmission that not only slices off scalpel-sharp, perfectly timed shifts but will (if Race mode is selected) do it with neck-snapping, downshift rev-matching aggressiveness, too. And because things happen so fast, acceleration-wise, it’s an asset to be free to focus on steering angles and apexes and leave the box to do its thing while you do yours. It’s probably also the one you want for long-haul durability as the manual manual’s clutch will likely lead a brutal and therefore short life with you popping it in and out.
A very cool R feature is the quad exhaust (unique to the R; not available with mere GTIs) that “talks back” when you put pedal to the metal. There’s a bypass valve in the system that opens the pipes, virtually eliminating backpressure. Accompanying each full-throttle upshift is a a pleasing politically incorrect mini-burst of internal combustion that brings to mind a Concorde on its take-off roll, the four Olympus turbojets glowing red on the reheaters (as the Brits call afterburners). The Benz GLA 45 has a similar feature, but it’s optional and the car already costs – what was it? – about $14k more to start.
AT THE CURB
It’s just an expensive (though very quick) Golf… is the charge leveled at VW.
Isn’t the GLA45 AMG just a really expensive (and very quick) GLA?
Isn’t the WRX STi a hopped up Impreza?
I think being a Golf – a very quick Golf – is good from several points of view.
I’ve already mentioned the stealth aspect. Even if the STi were quicker (which it’s not) getting away with using that quickness is much more challenging because it’s a known offender. Like a paroled felon with face tats applying for a job. Even trying to drive normally is a challenge in that car because so many other drivers know what you’re about and want to race.
Block you in. Cut you off. Maybe key your paint job in the parking lot. Such hassles are constant when you drive a car like the STi. The Benz is more discrete but you pay for the privilege.
Second plus, it’s a Golf.
People love them because they are so well-packaged. That tall roof and boxy profile, for instance. It gives the car almost twice the cargo capacity (22.8 cubic) that the Subaru WRX STi’s got (12 cubes) and significantly more than the the Benz (17.2 cubic feet). With the second folded down, the Golf’s total cargo capacity expands to 52.7 cubic feet.
And that – cue Paris Hilton – is huge.
Room for people is top-drawer, too.
Both the WRX STi and the GLA 45 AMG are sort of Bruce Jenner-ish in that they are really coupes at heart pretending to be otherwise. Their design/layout is very up-front biased. For example, the GLA has 41.9 inches of legroom for the driver and co-pilot but just 33.9 inches are tossed the backseaters’ way. The VW distributes the real estate more evenly – and generously. Up front, 41.2 inches – and 35.6 (nearly two inches more than the Benz) in the second row.
The Subaru’s similarly front-row biased.
It has an overgenerous 43.3 inches of front seat legroom (more than most people less than six-feet-four-inches tall will probably ever actually use unless they’re sleeping in the car… and the STi is not the car for that) and 35.1 inches in the second. Which is almost as good as the VW – except that you may have to tuck in because there’s less headroom (an inch less, to be precise) and also you may have to have your passengers carry stuff on their laps because the Soobie’s trunk is so tiny.
There is also ambiance to consider.
The R – like all current VWs – is German. Something the Subaru will never be (just as Bruce Jenner will never have two “X” chromosomes).The R – and all current VWs – shares literal DNA with Audis, which are direct kin. But it’s deeper than that. The culture that creates Audis – and Benzes – can’t help but manifest in the design of VWs. The tall-people-friendly interior space, for instance. Japanese cars -having been designed buy physically smaller Japanese people – tend to be a little more cramped inside and this metric is measurable in other ways besides front and second row legroom and cargo room. VWs – including the R – have more adjustability built into them. The driver’s seat, for instance, can be jacked up and down to a greater extent than in something like the Subaru. As a tall person myself, I also find that the steering wheel and shifter position relate more naturally to my tall geek body than in a Japanese car.
You’ll have to try it on yourself and see.
The R’s cabin is similar to the standard Golf’s (and GTI’s) but upgraded in numerous subtle ways, including nicer trim bits and detail touches such as a brushed metal and LED backlit strip on the lower door sills (with matching thin-line LED backlit strips built into the upper door panels) as well as standard leather sport buckets with embossed “R” badging, unique-design 18 and (optional) 19-inch wheels and R-specific flat-bottomed steering wheel. The gauge package is R-specific, too – and features a 200 MPH speedo (180 in the GTI) and a tach redlined at 6,500 (vs. 6,000 in the GTI).
The rev limiter in the R actually allows 7,000-plus RPM – which DSG-equipped R’s will bounce off at every WOT upshift.
God bless VW. There is no “eco” setting (or auto-stop/start) nonsense in the R – which would be as out of place in a car like this as Hillary Clinton at a strip club. Your options are Normal and – wait for it – Race. Press the checkered flag icon and things get serious. The car gets immediately growly – literally, the exhaust note pitches up to let’s-get-ready-to-rumble and so does the rest of the car. DSG-equipped R’s rev-matched/throttle-blipping gear changes will make you feel like you’re wearing Nomex.
Just two – and they are (largely) trivial.
One, VW is only selling the R in the five-door hatchback layout. Which is odd given that the lesser-performing GTI comes as a two-door (three-door, if you count the hatch). Odd, because two-doors are usually considered the sportier way to go and the R is oodles sportier than the GTI. But then, the four-door (five, if you count the hatchback) adds to the R’s stealth.
Two, VWs (all of them) come with this weird little cable thingie for plugging your iPod or device into – as opposed to the usual USB port. So you’ve got this awkward little cable flopping around all the time – and plugging in is awkward, too.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Otherwise? Make mine blend-in silver or white, plug the V1 into the 12V power point and off I go. Without (probably) getting caught.
The R isn’t pricey. It’s a deal.
You just have to be smart enough to see it.
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MikeP: “Hey Eric. One other review mentioned something they really didn’t like….serious turbo/throttle lag combined with slow DSG downshifts when driving at mid speeds. Called it potentially dangerous. You notice anything like that?”
Good question. Any car, with acceleration lag, I avoid. Leaned carburetors had lag
as do many (most/all?) turbo engines. It IS a dangerous condition.
After driving Corvettes for years, I want a Golf R, but good luck on trying to find one.
I’m note sure how VW allocates Rs to dealers – or the number they plan to make available. But your best bet is to call/e-mail dealers and ask whether they have one in stock- or could order one for you. One of them ought to be able to get you one.
The bad news is they’ll charge an arm and a leg, plus your first born!
When I purchased my VW Touareg TDI, I was very concerned about potential problems. VW has a horrible reputation, generally, for reliability, but as a few have suggested, it is improving. At least as far as I can tell by surveying various reliability resources, VW is around average for the market today.
Now keep in mind that today’s “average” would have been “exceptional” only 10-15 years ago. With one or two exceptions, year-over-year average reliability for the industry has been steadily improving. The problems per 100 vehicles has steadily declined for the past 30+ years.
One caveat with this is that most of these reliability ratings only look at the first few years of ownership. They’re not considering reliability after 20 years of being on the road, or even 10. Another is that “problem” is defined as anything from a glitch in the power window motor up to a major engine failure. They’re all effectively equal. Thus repair costs are rarely tracked, which might be a better measure. As cars get progressively more complex, and more stuffed with gadgets to make our lives easier, they also get more things that break and more things that may not be able to be repaired easily 10 years later (e.g., very expensive electronic control units, or other unique parts).
So yes, a modern day Lexus is going to be more reliable than a modern day VW. But a modern day VW is going to be more reliable than a 1995 Lexus was on the day it was new 20 years ago.
I’ll also point out that all of this improvement in reliability has come wholly from market competition. Not one single government mandate has had anything to do with this steady, and frankly impressive, progress. It’s purely market demand and competition. And warranties are getting longer, not shorter, as a result.
Incidentally, try to never buy a vehicle body style that is in its first, or even second, year of production. The manufacturer hasn’t worked out all the kinks in the new platform yet. The biggest improvements happen after the first year with marked improvements after the second. After that, reliability still improves, but the rate of improvement on that individual make and model mostly levels out.
Lastly, I put 45,000 miles on my VW Touareg TDI in 1.5 years with nary a problem until I got rear-ended and forced into the back of a pickup truck in front of me causing major damage. The whole vehicle was seriously damaged, but all four doors and the liftgate still worked perfectly, and I felt totally safe in the middle of the event. Unfortunately, the truck was no longer trustworthy so, after major repairs, has since been traded in on something of a compromise. I miss the Touareg (no TDIs were available in the region, and the 2015s were not out yet when I had to make a choice).
What about those 19″ wheels? They look huge on the smallish Golf.
re this: ” Japanese cars -having been designed buy physically smaller Japanese people – tend to be a little more cramped inside and this metric is measurable in other ways besides front and second row legroom and cargo room.”
I’m going to politely have to call bullshit on this. I drive a Japanese made car that fits my 6’2″ frame easily. I’ve been in the back seat of a friend’s Toyota Yaris — not a big car at all — and while it was a bit of a tight fit, it was livable.
I’m just not buying that Japanese engineers, who sweat all the little details otherwise, would somehow fail to consider that many drivers in a really large market for their products are tall and need a lot of room, just because they personally are short.
I couldn’t disagree more. I’ve been in several new cars this year, some repeats, and the Altima was the only one whose front seat side bolsters wouldn’t accommodate my chest while my butt fit just fine. The Ford’s and Chevy’s, no problem anywhere. I’ve experienced this problem since I was in my twenties and weighed 170 lbs. A friend about my size was shopping for a new car and wanted me to go with him. This was about in ’81 or so. He looked at a Corolla and said let’s drive it. We hopped in and slammed the doors just as we hit the seats. It seemed a bit snug. When he shifted into first and my left arm went with his, we looked at each other, closely I might add, closer than we would have liked. He went a few feet forward, put it in reverse, with my arm matching his and cut it off. When we opened the doors it sounded like we’d just relived a lot of pressure. We had since our other arms were jammed against the doors. They’re really not a car for large people, or at least, most of them I’ve been in weren’t. Infinity and Lexus are fine, others are on the edge of being “tight”. I actually preferred the Altima to everything else except for the side bolsters and that was a deal breaker. And it depends on where you live too. In Tx. heat, getting into a car that could cook eggs on the seat at the end of a day makes everything seem smaller(open the windows and turn the a/c on high). It’s the same when you go shopping for one. I notice more and more dealers have their car lots covered, a good move to sell cars in the heat.
Then again, we bitch if we have to ride more than 4 in a Megacab….and I’m 60 lbs smaller than the big guys.
They have historically been designed for Japanese norms but that’s changed as time went on and they became more and more global in their sales.
Today it depends on how you are proportioned if you’ll suffer from the way many Japanese cars are designed. It just depends if you have torso height or leg height and so forth.
As far as “Japanese Engineers” go, don’t stereotype so much. I’ve experienced the design for smaller people thing first hand in my career and a product was sort of fixed because of how poorly it worked for me but had it not been passed to me for a ‘how do you like this’ review in the prototype stage it would have never have been caught before production.
I’m not stereotyping Japanese engineers since other Japanese products I’ve been in have been fine. I am saying they dropped the ball on the biggest market of the biggest seller they ever had and never expected to be so large most likely. When other brands have seats I find just fine, I can only think someone in the chain didn’t bother to figure the very market their cars were designed for more accurately. I’m not a big fatass and those who are won’t even give it a second try, as I wouldn’t.
I’ve said this from day one and believe it true to this day: The big craze with full size SUV’s and pickups has to do with seat comfort along with ingress/egress.
My wife’s having back trouble in her old age(hope she doesn’t read this)and she’s nixed a new car, wants no part in one, mostly because of ingress/egress plus a pickup is more important to our life than cars. Of course the pickup will HAVE to be equipped with a bar/steps/etc. The old 3/4 T 4WD Chevy I sometimes use at work is fine. Little does she know it’s a looongg way UP into the new ones……and that’s another disaster for all pickup makers now…..and they don’t get that either.
Eight, I wasn’t aiming at you… I was referring to the ‘details’ comment Jim made. I don’t want to get all detailed about myself professionally but I’ve been dealing with Japanese engineers for almost 20 years now. But pretty much every stereotype the american public has is varies from doesn’t really represent the majority IME to outright wrong.
The SUVs are all about the big car things CAFE eliminated. Every last one of them.
I think one of the appeals of PUs and SUVs, heck even mini-vans, is about riding higher and so having a better view of the road ahead.
PtB, I know you’re right. I have heard many women say exactly that. Men may think it but don’t say it. Trouble with that is I see pickups I would have no way to get into and no way to see over. I could bend over and walk under them but get in, no way. I’ve hung around before to see how the obviously very young owner does it but I have yet to see it. When the door sill is even with my collar bone I ain’t gonna strain something to even try to get in it. When my leg was trying to heal , my boss had a Dodge I could get into only in the back seat by jumping up face down on the seat and getting my unbroken leg where I could catch the corner of the door frame and move myself on up and finally sit up and get everything in. It wasn’t worth it and after a couple times I’d just walk to another or walk…..period.
Where’s your skyhook?
Need to start bringing it home to the farm I guess.
Right on Jim. As far as Toyota’s(Lexus)are concerned, they aren’t engineered small. My 08 ES 350 has better head room than a 2014 Passat. More comfortable seats too.
Hop into an 02 or later Camry. An 07 and later Tundra. Compare an 08 and later Sequoia to a Yukon, Tahoe, or Expedition. The head room in full size Toyota meets or exceeds any American or German competitor.
Of course, if you are talking early 90’s or pevious, there’s a lot to be said for leg room, head room and seat size. Since the early 90’s, not so much. I believe Nissan and Honda are right there too. Maybe a liitle later to the game than Toyota, but not by much. A couple years or so.
Why don’t you compare your 81 Coroola to an 84 Chevy Cavalier? Then you’d have something to compare it to. Hahahaha 1981? Are you kidding me brother? A modern Corolla has every bit of room that Chevy, or any other American/German car in it’s class has. A first Gen Scion(04-07)has more head and leg room than any car I have ever seen. It was only ended because of Uncle’s stupid safety mandates.
Touche’ ancap, a new Corolla is a great deal larger and as large as a Malibu these days. They still don’t have enough sound deadening though. My deceased SIL had an ’84 Cavalier. I had to drive a bit of ways across town and my pickup was blocked in so I reluctantly took it. I won’t go into detail(where would I stop?)but after driving it, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would buy one…..still can’t.
Amen to that – the 1st gen Scion xB was an amazing small car in terms of head and leg room, and the 60/40 rear seats gave it all the cargo room one could need. The newer versions are an obese disgrace.
It has improved (especially in cars designed specifically for the U.S. market such as Camry and Avalon) but historically and generally, German cars have excelled at being ergonomic for larger people. I state this based on more than 20 years of driving new cars of all types every week. Certainly there are exceptions. But – per the review – go sit in a Subaru WRX and then the Golf – and you tell me which feels more spacious to you. Pay particular attention to the range of adjustability built into the seats, as well as general positioning of controls.
I have an appreciation for VW giving the driver a lot for the money. You get speed, good mileage, and good packaging at a low price. I’m not sure about VW reliability, but you would like to think it has improved over the years.
I don’t like the new VWs use of Car Net. I would have that disconnected pronto. I know it can be done as I spoke with a tech at a dealership.
I hesitate to mention personal stuff in this context because it can be taken to indicate a bias… and I suppose I am biased. Everyone is. But, for what it’s worth: Assuming the wife and I work it out (very up in the air) the car we’ll get at some point will be either a VW Golf TDI or the Honda Fit. I lean toward the VW because I really like the TDI engine (both the mileage and the way it performs).
I really liked the VW TDI. (at least the 2001 Golf). What failed me with an otherwise fine care was the timing belt snapping @ 55,000 into its 80,000 life interval. (I had the car for 135,000 miles.)
The water pump was the suspect for cause of the damage, but I was stuck with over $5000 (at least) repair bill due to engine damage. Unfortunately it was not economical for me to fix.
If the engine was a non-interference design engine then the engine damage would not have occurred. If I can I will only by a car with an interference engine design or at least a timing chain.
Did you try to get VW to at least cover part of the cost? A timing belt failure 30,000 miles shy of its scheduled service date is pretty egregious.
Keep your eye out for the Golf GTD. It is the diesel-powered version of the GTI. All the same handling goodness but with an up-tuned diesel powerplant. It won’t be as fast 0-60 as a GTI, but it won’t be slow, and it ought to be a lot of fun.
It is supposed to be coming to the US within the next year or so. To my knowledge, there will not be a Golf R diesel variant.
Kudos to VW for maintaining a relatively low profile appearance. Just about right, IMO. Now, if they offered it in the wagon body……that might entice me to buy just “one more” new car.
Hey Eric. One other review mentioned something they really didn’t like….serious turbo/throttle lag combined with slow DSG downshifts when driving at mid speeds. Called it potentially dangerous. You notice anything like that?
I picked up a very rare(less than 1k imported to N.A.) Audi TTRS last month. AWD, 6-SPD manual and I modded to 480 HP. A stealthy little beast, has a reputation as a girls car. I simply love it! Uber fast, lighter than most cars now and blends end. It’s as fast as my 2014 M6 was but over 1K lighter. I love the history of the Audi Quattro and the 5-cyl engine.
Eric, how about a reader car section where we can upload pics and share reader rides? Thanks.
I’ve not managed to get my greasy paws on that one…. yet!
On the rest: I love the idea; problem is I have no clue how to do it. I’m not a computer/software guy. I had to let the guy we had who was (Dom) go because I couldn’t afford to pay him any longer. So, since then (last fall) I’ve been running the whole show myself. Which means (when it comes to the mechanics of the site) pretty much leaving it alone and hoping it doesn’t break…
Imagine if they put this drivetrain in the new Scirocco, and then brought that car to the US.
You’d lose the stealth aspects, but you’d be in a slipperier 3-door.