Competes with: Subaru WRX STi, Ford Focus ST, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Looks like: The redesigned Volkswagen GTI, sans bumper claws
Drivetrain: 290-hp (est.), turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic; all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Early 2015
Witness the next generation of Volkswagen's Golf R, a range-topping performance hatchback based on the seventh-gen Golf and GTI. The latter two cars are on sale overseas but won't hit U.S. dealerships until spring; the Golf R will arrive nearly a year later in early 2015. It's unclear whether it will be a 2015 or 2016 model; Volkswagen spokesman Mark Gillies said the model year is still to be decided.
The Golf R, debuting at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, competes with the Subaru WRX STi and Ford Focus ST. Mazda has yet to announce plans for a MazdaSpeed version of the redesigned Mazda3, but it's likely we'll see one — and it will compete in this space, too.