Look at what’s in store for January 8, 2015: A Spanish company is taking over the operation of the public buses in Malta; there’s an elementary-school spelling bee in Bayonne, New Jersey; and the New York Rangers will head west to skate against the L.A. Kings. Oh, it’s also the day the preorder books open for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R!
The first 500 buyers who sign up on VW’s website and plunk down a $500 deposit will be guaranteed two things. For one, they’ll get a fully loaded 296-hp all-wheel-drive hatchback (the balance of the $39,410 price will be due upon delivery). Next, they’ll get a Volkswagen R wristwatch, a carbon-fiber/stainless-steel keychain, and a paper certificate, all numbered based on the car’s production order. Among the upgrades to the base $37,415 Golf R (or the manual Golf R that arrives later at an $1100 discount) are 19-inch wheels, navigation, parking sensors, Fender audio, and active damping.
While we weren’t as smitten as we may have hoped to be on our first drive of the Golf R—really, the GTI is where it’s at—the R remains somewhat of a value versus the Audi S3, with which it shares most of its basic mechanicals. If you’re one of the early decision types, get ready to whip out that credit card. Before you head to the spelling bee, that is.