Anywhoo, while I'm glad VW is continuing to produce new "R" vehicles, there's not a significant enough improvement for me to seriously consider trading in my MkIV R32 for a MkV....
As I've mentioned in previous posts (MkV R32 in August 2007) the MkV has the same 250-hp engine as the MkIV, will be offered only with a DSG tranmission, but does have bi-xenon headlights. Perhaps VW is just trying to take advantage of the positive buzz from the MkIV, but I suspect relatively few MkIV R32 owners will trade in for a MkV. This isn't bad per se... who cares exactly who buys them as long as they're sold, right?
Below I've simply copied and pasted some info posted on a VWvortex thread discussing some of the differences between the MkIV and MkV R32. I've tried taking out anything that was subjective rather than objective.
--The US-spec MkV has same power as US-spec MkIV (250hp)
--MkV is 300lbs heavier.
--MkV is 12 seconds slower around the Nurburgring than the EU-spec MkIV (which is less powerful than US-spec MkIV).
--MkV has DSG only
--MkV has Gen 2 Haldex to the MkIV's Gen1. Reportedly pretty comparable to Gen 1 + HPP.
--MkV is like 2-3 inches taller, and looks it.
--MkIV has deep dark black grills up front
--MkV has sun catching black horizontal slats in the lower grills and a shiny center grill/bumper, similar to the MkV Jetta. (brushed al instead of chrome, but similar first impression)
--MkIV has totally R32 specific interior with custom seats, and R logos throughout (wheel, pedal covers, door sills, front and rear seats).
--MkV pretty much has GTI interior.
--MkV has new pedestrian friendly higher hood, with matching higher dash, higher window lines.. etc..
--MkV has $1800 NAV option
--MkV base price is $1000 more than MkIV was, and dealers are already busy price gouging (they learned from their mistake with the MkIV)
--MkIV has widely spaced exhaust tips.
--MkV has center exhaust tips, positioned about where your ankles are when you open the hatch.
--MKV has HID's
--MKV has steering wheel controls
--MKV has a donut spare
--MKV has battery in trunk
I'm still not sure if I like how MkV VWs look in general, but in this picture below I'm definitely having trouble liking the wood trim:
Anyway, although I'm not going to buy a MkV R32, I'm still hoping in August I'll be able to test drive one. :o)