The R32 has done wonders for VW's performance image, reigniting performance-hungry VW loyalists' enthusiasm. "We've been waiting for this car for a long time," said Chris Mora. Chris was one of more than 60 R32 owners who attended the third-annual SoCal R32 event, hosted by VF Engineering at the its headquarters in Anaheim, Calif.
SoCal R32 group organizer Eugene Lee reported a total of 69 R32s in attendance, along with dozens of other watercooled VWs.
"We're extremely happy with the turn out," said Lee. "We were anticipating perhaps maybe 40 R32s. Word began to spread and before long we had more than 50 pre-registered. They just came out of the woodwork.
That's a fair number, especially when you consider the R32 will have a limited-production run of 5,000 units-nearly 700 of which have been sold and registered in California alone.
VF Engineering president Nik Suran and his crew gave attendees a tour their spacious facility, which included a demonstrated installation of the company's new R32 Stage II Supercharger-it took just over 4 hours to have the engine running and ready to roll thanks to an extra technician on hand. Suran stated the procedure normally takes 12 hours to complete with a single technician.
Garrett Lim of GIAC USA was on hand, flashing ECUs for customers on site. Representatives of Vortech, manufacturers of VF Engineering's Supercharger line, were also present and answered any and all tech-related questions put to them. Other participating sponsors included Exklusiv Motorsports, Parts4VWs, EuroCullen, Evolution Motorsports, EIP Tuning, HPA Motorsports, Parts4Euro, 4Grounding and European Technologies.
The event included a fully catered barbeque, and afterward, a number of attendees participated in a cruise, which wound its way across the infamous Ortega Highway.
Based on the success of this year's event, SoCal R32 organizers expect to see at least 100 R32s at next year. We're guessing they'll easily exceed that number.