Volkswagen has today unveiled first details and images of the most powerful production Golf to date, the new R32. The second generation high performance, four-wheel drive Golf will make its international debut at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show next month, ahead of a UK launch in November.

The new model is powered by a development of Volkswagen’s proven 3.2-litre narrow-angle V6 petrol engine, this time uprated to 250 PS (from 241 PS). Sophisticated 4MOTION four-wheel drive, using the Haldex system, promises high levels of control, grip and handling dynamics.

Externally, the R32 looks distinct from all other models in the Golf range, including the stand-alone GTI. With a bold aluminium full-length grille, centrally-positioned twin exhaust pipes, darkened rear lenses, new front spoiler with imposing air scoops, plus a full-depth painted rear bumper (with black middle section), the R32 asserts its presence to onlookers.

From the side, too, the new R32 has its own clear personality, thanks to imposing 18-inch alloy wheels inspired by those of the first R32, launched in 2002. Twenty spokes on each wheel still allow a glimpse behind of the signature blue brake callipers, as seen on the first Golf R32.

Inside, the new model leaves its driver in no doubt as to its sporting ability. Distinctive instruments, sports seats, aluminium pedals, gear knob and steering wheel are just a few of the highlights. For those wanting to add the ultimate sporting touch, dramatic racing-style Recaro bucket seats will be offered as an option.

Standard equipment will be the most comprehensive of any model in the Golf range, and will include bi-xenon headlights, as well as 2Zone Climatronic air conditioning, a ten-speaker audio system and rain sensor wipers with auto-dimming rear view mirror.

The original Golf R32, based on the Mk IV Golf, outperformed all sales expectations, not least of all in the UK, where over 2,300 found homes. The new generation is eagerly anticipated, and is expected to follow its predecessor’s sales success.