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Old 03-14-2019, 07:00 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Volkswagen Wants to Build More R-Badged Vehicles, but America Won't Pay Up

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Volkswagen Wants to Build More R-Badged Vehicles, but America Won't Pay Up

People don't want to pay premium-bracket pricing for a Volkswagen-branded car.

Volkswagen's premium cream of the crop performance cars are outfitted with the automaker's infamous R-badge to signal their exclusivity. Buyers know that when buying a Golf R, for example, they will receive something more premium and sporty than a base-trim GTI. During the Geneva International Motor Show, VW held a media round-table discussion where the idea of expanding the line of R cars was introduced. It's something that Volkswagen wants to toy with, but the company doesn't know if the cars will actually sell.

Consumers want the features that Volkswagen's R-badged vehicles have to offer but they might have trouble leaving dealer lots. The biggest factor, explains Volkswagen board member Jrgen Stackmann, is price.

The U.S. market is extremely price-sensitive when it comes to volume brands. The R concept adds four-wheel-drive, a lot of technology, and a big engine. Put that into the American system, and it would take the price into premium territory. Premium prices are usually only paid for premium brands, said Stackmann during the press event. I think there is demand, but the will to pay for this demand is quite limited.

The price jump is quite high between the Golf GTI and the Golf R. Presently, U.S. buyers can spend $27,595 on a base Golf GTI or pay a premium of 46 percent to upgrade to the performance-oriented Golf R for $40,395. In 2018, Volkswagen sold only one Golf R for every five Golf GTIs delivered to a customer.

Perhaps buyers would be more interested in an R-trimmed electric car. Stackmann later confirmed that there will be R cars across its ID electric models. Of course, the price premium of EVs helps to justify the cost of a more sporty vehiclethis makes the largest inhibitor for Volkswagen-branded EVs not cost, but range.

If Volkswagen does choose to pursue additional R-badged vehicles in the future for the United States, they'll likely be based on the Jetta or Tiguan. Sadly, it doesn't appear to be on the horizon any time soon, and if one ever arrives, it's unlikely to feature a manual transmission.
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/AUTO/news/
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:21 AM   #2
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It would be nice if they would try a de-contented Golf R to see what happens. They have all the parts already to do it. Stripper cloth seat, no nav, no fancy safety suite, normal headlights, etc. Give consumers the option of a $32,000 basic Golf R or a loaded up GTI. Let the aftermarket fill on the holes for upgrades over time. I know what I would choose, and I know what my wife would choose. Id probably have 2 VWs in the garage.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:24 AM   #3
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I've seen a lot of cars that have the "R-line" badge to them, but they are just an appearance package. If VW is going to do an R-line, give it the performance upgrade too.

I know many people who buy R-line cars won't do any upgrades to them, however I know my stage 2 R is well worth the price difference of the GTI (stage 2 to compare). My stage 2 is hitting RS3 performance with just a downpipe/tune.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JRowland View Post
It would be nice if they would try a de-contented Golf R to see what happens. They have all the parts already to do it. Stripper cloth seat, no nav, no fancy safety suite, normal headlights, etc. Give consumers the option of a $32,000 basic Golf R or a loaded up GTI. Let the aftermarket fill on the holes for upgrades over time. I know what I would choose, and I know what my wife would choose. Id probably have 2 VWs in the garage.
I think you would maybe see a cost difference of $5k going that route. While a $32k base / stripped R might bring in more revenue than a GTI, I question if it would have less profit margins and not make up for it in volume.

I'd be down with a GTI-R that came in around $30-$32k with AWD 220-240 horsepower though.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JRowland View Post
It would be nice if they would try a de-contented Golf R to see what happens. They have all the parts already to do it. Stripper cloth seat, no nav, no fancy safety suite, normal headlights, etc. Give consumers the option of a $32,000 basic Golf R or a loaded up GTI. Let the aftermarket fill on the holes for upgrades over time. I know what I would choose, and I know what my wife would choose. I’d probably have 2 VWs in the garage.
Well, they used to offer that, pre 2018. It wasn't quite cloth seats or incandescent headlights, but it didn't have nav, driver assist, dymanic suspension, etc. It wasn't a terrible discount, it was like 37k vs 40k iirc...

But you've got a point. VW has sort of put themselves into that price range by packaging the high performance engine with all of those fancy things. My guess is it's what they need to do to help make up for the cost of the drivetrain.

As much as it's tough to stomach an expensive VW, the reality is you're not getting a lot more by jumping to Audi unless you go up to their higher trims that VW doesn't compete with. Take for instance the Jetta GLI vs A3. Or Golf R vs S3. You get the same major components with different lipstick.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:05 PM   #6
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It just seems that VW associates a performance variant with luxury based on the article posted above. They have the ability to see if a true performance variant based on the Golf would be viable without any tooling costs and I wish that they would at least try this approach before saying it won't work in the US. It may not, but it wouldn't hurt too bad financially to try with the Golf platform.

I feel that they have a focus issue, and it's probably just me. In the US they have the Audi brand which can easily satisfy most luxury buyers if it was focused on as such. They have Bentley to fill the higher end luxury market. They have Porsche for sports cars and Lamborghini and Bugatti to fill the higher end sports (luxury sports) car market. Then they have VW to be the peoples car. Nothing wrong with expanding each line to capture tweeners (like the A3 Audi or the Golf R) but I wish they would define each brand and then focus. Why a Porsche SUV or 4 door when Audi has that niche covered very well as an example.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:28 PM   #7
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An AWD GTI would forever be in my driveway. Base S trim. GTI engine and power. I don’t need the full R because honestly they are way too much money for a compact car. And they are priced as such because VWoA has to make it worthwhile to bring them over. A GTI with AWD to mitigate the modest power it already has for a few grand more than a fwd GTI is a perfect vehicle.

Now as I said in the Tiguan Coupe thread, an R variant would be cool if it had 3 row capability. But it would be expensive. VW is not unlike Subaru in this regard. There is a hard pass when prices approach $50k.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:51 PM   #8
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I don’t need the full R because honestly they are way too much money for a compact car.
This is precisely the attitude that this article is pointing out. Americans are cheapskates and associate cost with size. If it costs more it must be BIGGER. Who cares if it's better, I need SIZE. SUPERSIZE ALL THE THINGS! A 400 HP golf? Na, that's too small for the price, it doesn't matter that it'd run circles around much higher priced sports cars (that are smaller). I'd take a 400 hp 3-row SUV though!

americans are stupid.

Last edited by dwf137; 03-14-2019 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:28 PM   #9
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This is precisely the attitude that this article is pointing out. Americans are cheapskates and associate cost with size. If it costs more it must be BIGGER. Who cares if it's better, I need SIZE. SUPERSIZE ALL THE THINGS! A 400 HP golf? Na, that's too small for the price, it doesn't matter that it'd run circles around much higher priced sports cars (that are smaller). I'd take a 400 hp 3-row SUV though!

americans are stupid.
Wait. Me saying I dont need all the extra performance of an R at a huge premium over a GTI makes me stupid? Your willing to pay it makes you smarter? I dont see anywhere in this article where they point out people want bigger for their money. Its saying people want more stuff for free. Im saying give me less performance of an R only the 4Motion like they put in the Sportwagen.

I just purchased a Tiguan RLine because we needed a third row. We anted up on the RLine because its way better looking than the standard Tiguan and checked all the boxes. So Im actually counter to the argument this article points out. Sorry if you feel I was saying people who buy Golf Rs are wasting their money. Thats not what I was trying to say.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:00 PM   #10
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Wait. Me saying I dont need all the extra performance of an R at a huge premium over a GTI makes me stupid? Your willing to pay it makes you smarter? I dont see anywhere in this article where they point out people want bigger for their money. Its saying people want more stuff for free. Im saying give me less performance of an R only the 4Motion like they put in the Sportwagen.

I just purchased a Tiguan RLine because we needed a third row. We anted up on the RLine because its way better looking than the standard Tiguan and checked all the boxes. So Im actually counter to the argument this article points out. Sorry if you feel I was saying people who buy Golf Rs are wasting their money. Thats not what I was trying to say.
No personal offense taken. People can think I wasted my money all they want, I bought the car for me, and me alone. I honestly think it's a reasonable deal for what it is, hence why I purchased it.

I was referring to this, and this alone:
Quote:
way too much money for a compact car
I read this as: just because the Golf R is "compact", they need to keep it under some arbitrary price point. That somehow if the car were not "compact", it could justify a higher price point.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:31 PM   #11
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It is what it is. Yes there is a segment the Golf R fits in but that segment is awfully tiny. I think the article misses the point in this regard. VW could definitely plug their own hole with an R light based on the GTI and GLI. More of a WRX competitor. They need only look at WRX to STI volume numbers. I wouldn’t say WRX buyers are dumb American cheapskates because they didn’t buy an STI instead. Didn’t you have a WRX before the R?

This is not an American problem either. Costs around the world dictate what various middle class folk can afford and which trims sell in greater numbers. I value all the stuff I got for the price I got it with the Tiguan. It was a definite upgrade over the GTI for our purposes. But I could not justify trading in the GTI for an R to only gain performance. It was a lateral move as far as utility goes. That’s what I meant with that comment.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:07 PM   #12
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I wouldn’t say WRX buyers are dumb American cheapskates because they didn’t buy an STI instead. Didn’t you have a WRX before the R?
That's not really the point I was trying to make. People buy cars based on their financial stability. I bought a wrx because I didn't have the money for an STI.

It's that people set some arbitrary price ceiling for a brand, class of car, etc. Somehow, even when VW basically puts in Audi-level features, the VW is worth less than the same exact car with an Audi badge. Or that there needs to be a limit on the price of a compact car, despite the fact that it might provide the performance level of sports cars twice it's price. That somehow because the golf is a compact car, that a 400 hp version needs to be below 45K, even if it'd provide similar performance to cars close to twice it's price.

I'm kind of lumping this story together with other ones... like the one VW came out with recently saying that the market couldn't sustain the Golf 400R. And I don't disagree with them, but I wish it weren't that way...
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:11 PM   #13
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I think you would maybe see a cost difference of $5k going that route. While a $32k base / stripped R might bring in more revenue than a GTI, I question if it would have less profit margins and not make up for it in volume.

I'd be down with a GTI-R that came in around $30-$32k with AWD 220-240 horsepower though.
I pulled the number out of my ass but I'm bored at work and had some time. Autobahn GTI MSRP is $36,000, Golf R MSRP is $40,395 so AWD and IS38 is basically a $4400 add if you look at it that way. Base GTI is $27,595 add the $4,400 and you are right at $32,000. I wouldn't need big brakes (although I might step up at the dealership or through aftermarket pad/rotor options) or any of the other jazz. But if I did like all the jazz I could get the $40,935 model. They have the parts and they could do this but for some reason they don't and then say things like what was posted in the article above about pricing. Some of the problem is not pricing, but packaging on their end.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:31 PM   #14
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That's not really the point I was trying to make. People buy cars based on their financial stability. I bought a wrx because I didn't have the money for an STI.

It's that people set some arbitrary price ceiling for a brand, class of car, etc. Somehow, even when VW basically puts in Audi-level features, the VW is worth less than the same exact car with an Audi badge. Or that there needs to be a limit on the price of a compact car, despite the fact that it might provide the performance level of sports cars twice it's price. That somehow because the golf is a compact car, that a 400 hp version needs to be below 45K, even if it'd provide similar performance to cars close to twice it's price.

I'm kind of lumping this story together with other ones... like the one VW came out with recently saying that the market couldn't sustain the Golf 400R. And I don't disagree with them, but I wish it weren't that way...
I hear you and understand the frustration. But your last sentence is pretty much all we can say. As a side point, look at Audis and Audi buyers. Theres internal griping all the time about spending $65k for a fwd Haldex chassis super sport car when a longitudinal Quattro chassis S car could be had for the same money. Avanti makes this point often on here. Theres always something to gripe about leading to all sorts of arbitrary ceilings. Just the nature of people and the heiarchy of products and marketing within a competitive saturated industry.

Im glad you love your R and its working out for you.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:47 PM   #15
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I hear you and understand the frustration. But your last sentence is pretty much all we can say. As a side point, look at Audis and Audi buyers. There’s internal griping all the time about spending $65k for a fwd Haldex chassis super sport car when a longitudinal Quattro chassis S car could be had for the same money. Avanti makes this point often on here. There’s always something to gripe about leading to all sorts of arbitrary ceilings. Just the nature of people and the heiarchy of products and marketing within a competitive saturated industry.

I’m glad you love your R and it’s working out for you.
Yeah... fair point. It's just unfortunate.

Loving the R. So much that I'm debating on trading the Outback in on a 3-row Tiguan RLine right now - just got the airbag recall notice and all local dealers are backed up till JULY... so I've gotta wait 4 months to sit in the passenger seat of our car? We were already thinking of a 3 row in the next year or so, this might just force the issue a little early.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:52 PM   #16
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Golf R Wagon with the 400hp 5-cyl for $45-50k would sell every single one.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:55 PM   #17
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I’d do an R wagon to replace the LegGTwagon. Wouldn’t even need the 5 cylinder.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:26 PM   #18
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While no performance benefit, I found a bunch of SEL R-line AWD Tiguans at my local VW dealers. I really like the shape of that boxy SUV and been thinking maybe I would get that vs the Forester Limited I was looking at. With deep discounts VW is currently offering, the price is nearly identical.

Since my wife is the primary driver and I'll only use it maybe a few times a month at most, I really don't care about performance numbers. As for R cars, I own a 17 Golf-R and it's a great car. She sits next to my 16 STI.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:53 PM   #19
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This is precisely the attitude that this article is pointing out. Americans are cheapskates and associate cost with size. If it costs more it must be BIGGER. Who cares if it's better, I need SIZE. SUPERSIZE ALL THE THINGS! A 400 HP golf? Na, that's too small for the price, it doesn't matter that it'd run circles around much higher priced sports cars (that are smaller). I'd take a 400 hp 3-row SUV though!

americans are stupid.
Just raise the price $10k and put an Audi badge on it, and Americans will buy the R.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:54 PM   #20
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Yeah... fair point. It's just unfortunate.

Loving the R. So much that I'm debating on trading the Outback in on a 3-row Tiguan RLine right now - just got the airbag recall notice and all local dealers are backed up till JULY... so I've gotta wait 4 months to sit in the passenger seat of our car? We were already thinking of a 3 row in the next year or so, this might just force the issue a little early.
We got the same notice. "We ignored your explosive airbags for 5 years, but now you can't use your passenger seat." yeah, ok.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:18 AM   #21
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Gimme the 5 cylinder!
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:00 AM   #22
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I think manufactures are more scared of overlap that lower versions of the car cant be seen as more expensive then the basic performance variant.

Look at the 2017 autobahn gti dsg and base golf r within $400 difference and soon as you add the drivers assistance package for $1000 it cost more.

subaru kinda done the same thing with the wrx limited cvt with nav vs base sti. they could make the base sti cheaper by removing some stuff like dual zone ac and using cloth seats, but then it would undercut the limited wrx model
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:10 AM   #23
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I think manufactures are more scared of overlap that lower versions of the car cant be seen as more expensive then the basic performance variant.

Look at the 2017 autobahn gti dsg and base golf r within $400 difference and soon as you add the drivers assistance package for $1000 it cost more.

subaru kinda done the same thing with the wrx limited cvt with nav vs base sti. they could make the base sti cheaper by removing some stuff like dual zone ac and using cloth seats, but then it would undercut the limited wrx model
I think removing options is a tough sell for the accountants, who make all the decisions these days.

They could do it so satisfy a dozen hard core fans of the brand, but
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:33 PM   #24
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Yeah... fair point. It's just unfortunate.

Loving the R. So much that I'm debating on trading the Outback in on a 3-row Tiguan RLine right now - just got the airbag recall notice and all local dealers are backed up till JULY... so I've gotta wait 4 months to sit in the passenger seat of our car? We were already thinking of a 3 row in the next year or so, this might just force the issue a little early.
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We got the same notice. "We ignored your explosive airbags for 5 years, but now you can't use your passenger seat." yeah, ok.
I think all this is just what they are mandated to say per the recall(government). Look at how many cars are recalled, yeah? Then how many cars with these "death trap" airbags have had them deploy in a car accident. Then how many people injured or killed(yes. massively tragic to have ANY loss of life). Then consider if you live in the "affected" areas they think the problem really exists. Then, consider your driving. Those talking about not wanting EyeSight because "I know my driving and my history". Will you get in an accident? Me? Personally? I shrugged it off. I have had it replaced; but, only because we happen to not be backed up at the time they said they could do it(I didn't ask. They suggested when I was getting some normal stuff done). Had we been backed up and other people were wanting theirs done, I would have deferred mine so someone else could feel better. That is something else I have learned while working here. Things are much better as long as the person feels good about it.



Now, for an on topic statement. I think part of their issue is the availability of these "R" cars. Could the price be better if they were as available as an STI is? Only bringing them out every few years is part of why they price them so, correct? Then the dealers that want more money because of it? Just a thought. I'd love to see more of these cars on the roads again. I miss the days of weekend cruising around and meeting up with folks with cars from all makes. R32s, SRT-4s, EVOs.....
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:42 PM   #25
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I think all this is just what they are mandated to say per the recall(government). Look at how many cars are recalled, yeah? Then how many cars with these "death trap" airbags have had them deploy in a car accident. Then how many people injured or killed(yes. massively tragic to have ANY loss of life). Then consider if you live in the "affected" areas they think the problem really exists. Then, consider your driving. Those talking about not wanting EyeSight because "I know my driving and my history". Will you get in an accident? Me? Personally? I shrugged it off. I have had them replaced; but, only because we happen to not be backed up at the time they said they could do it(I didn't ask. They suggested when I was getting some normal stuff done). Had we been backed up and other people were wanting theirs done, I would have deferred mine so someone else could feel better. That is something else I have learned while working here. Things are much better as long as the person feels good about it.
Yeah, believe me, I recognize the limited risk. But at the same time, what if something did happen, and a passenger in our car was killed. There's no taking back Subaru's bolded statement to not put someone in a passenger seat. Once it's stated, any decision otherwise would be viewed in any court of law as reckless and irresponsible. Do I think something would happen? No. But if it did... not only would someone be dead, but we could be on the hook for manslaughter. Sorry, but I'd rather sit in the back seat, or trade the car in (with written disclaimer that the recall had not yet been completed because of local availability), than risk being held responsible for a reckless decision counter to Subaru's recall statement. I blame Subaru for this, and am quite upset. Takata recalls started way back in 2008, why the hell Subaru put a faulty airbag into a 2014 production car blows me away. I know Subaru was not the only brand that did it, but Subaru was the only brand that affected my life.

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Originally Posted by JustyWRC View Post
Now, for an on topic statement. I think part of their issue is the availability of these "R" cars. Could the price be better if they were as available as an STI is? Only bringing them out every few years is part of why they price them so, correct? Then the dealers that want more money because of it? Just a thought. I'd love to see more of these cars on the roads again. I miss the days of weekend cruising around and meeting up with folks with cars from all makes. R32s, SRT-4s, EVOs.....
They intentionally make it an exclusive club, for sure. The price would be better, but only because there's more demand than availability. They keep things limited to keep the price high. And I don't mind it too much, because resale value will be pretty darn good.

Last edited by dwf137; 03-15-2019 at 01:52 PM.
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