Here’s the nub of it, however: the R32 was actually a pretty good thing in just about any circumstance. True, it didn’t have the sharp steering of some of its racier competitors, nor did its engine have the breathy urgency of some turbo tear-aways. But if you could live with that slightly more grown-up demeanour, the R32 was all class.
The R32’s interior nailed the target with optional sporty Recaro seats and touches such as the flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Safety was the job of six airbags (only four if you opted for those delicious Recaros) and a full suite of braking and traction electronics to keep things steady. It worked, because the R32 scored a five-star NCAP result.
The biggest choice you’ll need to make is whether to go down the purist path with the six-speed manual gearbox or the techno-trail with VW’s excellent six-speed dual-clutch automatic.