Volkswagen's Golf 5 R32, fitted with a 3,2-litre V6 engine punching out 184 kW, and due to début at the Frankfurt Show in September, looks set to take the hot hatch world by storm.

Volkswagen's Golf 5 R32, fitted with a 3,2-litre V6 engine punching out 184 kW, and due to début at the Frankfurt Show in September, looks set to take the hot hatch world by storm.

Based on the Golf 5, this menacing V6 -powered machine is equipped with permanent 4Motion four-wheel drive and bears the hallmarks of a blisteringly fast hatchback. With a top speed limited to 250 km/h, and fitted with a six-speed manual or DSG transmission, it is claimed to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 6,2 seconds.

The new R32 is recognisable from the front by its aluminium-look grille, similar to the one used on the GTI and its Audi cousins. The large central air - duct beneath the licence plate is flanked by two smaller openings on either side of the large grille that provide extra cooling.

Unlike other Golfs, the rear bumper is fully colour-coded and only interrupted by the centrally mounted twin tailpipes. The car is fitted with 18-inch 20 - spoke alloys shod with 225/40 tyres rated for speeds of up to 300 km/h. The sports suspension used is lower by 20 mm over the conventional system , and the large wheels fit neatly into the gently flaring arches.

The sporty theme is continued in the cabin, which is peppered with aluminium and leather accents and features special instrumentation unique to the R32. It gets leather sport seats and a steering wheel, aluminium pedals and an oversized spoiler.

As a range-topper, the model also boasts the highest level of equipment, ranging from Climatronic automatic air conditioning and a ten-speaker audio system to a multifunction display and bi-xenon headlights. Safety equipment includes a rain sensor, tyre pressure monitor, and a complete safety package with six airbags, ESP and EBA.

The new Golf 5 R32 will début at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show. According to a Volkswagen SA spokesman, the local operation is investigating the prospect of introducing the model on the local market.

He said that since the model would be a low-volume seller and only available in the three-door body style (not produced in South Africa), the car would have to be imported. It would also need to be determined whether the expense of training specialised service staff would justify the limited sales.