How I Learned to Love Forced Induction

I love cars.  I have owned so many different cars that I seriously now have to sit, count, think and make sure I didn’t miss any.  While this probably reads as bragging, and maybe it is, I don’t intend it to be.  In fact, I sometimes feel like an idiot for the number of cars I have burned through.

Anyway, my current ride, a 2012 Golf R, has been with me for almost three months and I am still deciding if it everything I really wanted it to be.  Some background:

The best car I’ve ever owned, my 2004 VW MkIV R32, I sold during what I call my “Don Draper Moment”.  I had a perfectly hot, fast ride – but was seduced by a terrifically sexy beast, an Audi RS4 (a car almost as rare as a unicorn).  I had the Audi for about a year and a half and sold it for about what I bought it for.  I sold it because it was just too much car as a daily driver, and the upkeep costs on it were terrible ($3000 for brakes every 15-18 months).  I should have never bought it, but I’m glad that I did for it is one of the great cars ever made.

Those two cars, along with others, set the idea of torque and what I call, “immediate gas pedal reaction gratification” into my head.  Goose the gas, car go fast.  But in this Golf R, which is turbo based, like most smaller engine turbos you gotta get the thing revved up to about 3000 to really feel the push.  Once its in its range the R is a tremendous amount of fun, but in many ways its like learning to drive a car over again, simply because of the difference from what I’ve always driven.

But I have gotten better at it, and as someone told me, “there can be a great deal of satisfaction in driving a turbo correctly”.  The best part is that it really fills my desire to have a limited edition car, something different but still with a level of practicality that the RS4 simply pissed on.  There’s also a quickly growing list of mods that can make the car an even better performer.

Anyway, VW for the first time have made a TV commercial (stateside, anyway) for a R model car.  This is pretty great, and while I haven’t yet pulled the “drift to a stop” maneuver – yet – I have been able to generate some smiles in the thing.

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