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Volkswagen cars: What's new for 2008

R32 returns

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2008 Volkswagen R32 left-front view

2008 Volkswagen R32

Photo © Aaron Gold

EOS: Now in its second year, VW's retractable-hardtop gets a new model lineup: Four-cylinder Turbo, Komfort and Lux models and the six-cylinder VR6.

GTI: The ride height has been lowered slightly, and the GTI gets some minor changes in trim and equipment levels.

JETTA: The base 2.5 liter 5-cylinder engine gets a power increase to 170 horsepower (up 20) and 177 lb-ft of torque (up 7). The wagon and diesel versions have been put off until 2009.

NEW BEETLE: The familiar Bug has been divided into S and SE trim levels, the latter with an upgraded stereo, heated seats and heated washer nozzles. However, the 2.5 liter engine does not get the same improvements as it does in the Jetta and Rabbit -- it stays at 150 horsepower.

PASSAT: No changes.

R32: The all-wheel-drive hot-rod Rabbit, last sold here in 2004, is returning to the US in a limited run of 5,000 cars. The R32 has a 250 horsepower narrow-angle V6 that drives all four wheels via a 6-speed DSG transmission.

RABBIT: Like the Jetta, the Rabbit's 2.5 liter 5-cylinder engine gets a boost in power (to 170 hp) and improved fuel economy. A tire pressure monitoring system is also standard.

TOUAREG 2: The Touareg gets a host of updates to justify its new Touareg 2 moniker, including a restyled front end (shaped to resemble the Passat and Eos) and revised engines.

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