The most powerful production Golf yet will be available in the United States, perhaps in the second half of 2011. This is the 2012 VW Golf R. It comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four, a six-speed manual transmission (no slushbox option), all-wheel drive, a lowered suspension, big brakes and 18-inch wheels. It should have at least 250 hp; some sources are saying 265 with 258 lb-ft of torque. We’re also expecting a more hoon-friendly stability control program. Offered in a three- or five-door body style, VW says it will be on sale in limited numbers for a limited time.

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