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Gushing over a car

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Mathieu St-Pierre
This past holiday season, I found myself literally gushing over the car I was driving. You may or may not know that I’ve a special place in my heart for Volkswagen products.

The car that was gushed over multiple times on Instagram and Twitter (Matt_St_Pierre) and Facebook was a 2012 Volkswagen Golf R decked out in Rising Blue.

At $39,675, the Volkswagen Golf R plays alongside the Subaru STI ($38,195) and the Mitsubishi EVO X ($41,998), but as all enthusiasts will say: the Golf doesn’t measure up in the numbers game. It’s down on horsepower and torque, and short on big-time go-fast bits such as a massive spoiler and uber-flared wheel arches. However, where it wins is in sheer classiness.

Volkswagen Golf R
Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre

Those who have driven all of these cars know what I’m going on about. The German’s precision, sense of purpose and all-out efficiency without sacrificing sanity, health and hearing are what make this car great, excellent even.

But wait; had I spent the week with an EVO or an STI, I probably would have equally blathered on about these cars as I did repeatedly with the R.

For the Mitsubishi EVO, I’d have raved about its razor-sharp steering, infinitely tossable chassis and mind blowing agility. Had I piloted the STI, I would not have been able to contain my praise for the car’s rugged raw power, insane traction and tank-like demeanour.

Any of these cars would have beat into submission our winter’s first super storm that brought 45cm of the white stuff over a period of 24 hrs. All have excellent AWD systems which display specific advantages.

In the 2012 Volkswagen Golf R’s case, the Haldex AWD’s clutch pack endlessly switched up the amount of torque that effect the rear wheels. This way, on the slippery stuff, up to 100% of the 2.0T’s juice was sent to the rear wheels for maximum fun. The Subaru STI requires more work to get the ass to break loose. The Mitsubishi EVO’s S-AWC is legendary for doing everything right.

What I’m trying to say is that the Golf R is not the be-all-end-all of affordable super cars -- although it is a tremendous product. All car manufacturers have the ability to build such a car and make me gush -- even Toyota.

At one point, Toyota did participate in the World Rallye Championship (WRC) with a sweet and angry AWD turbocharged Corolla hatchback. Bring it back and I’ll love Toyota for it. Look it up on Google.

The bottom line is that Volkswagen’s Golf R deserved all the love I gave it. And, I’d do it all over again.
Mathieu St-Pierre
Mathieu St-Pierre
Automotive expert