If one of these is right the other has to be wrong.

Have you ever wondered if your speedometer is telling you the truth? Well as a side effect of today’s top speed run on the autobahn we see exactly how much your speedometer could be lying to you. This high mileage Golf R32 may sound incredible and still have impressive performance credentials, but as we can clearly see its speedometer is a liar.

There are a host of reasons why your speedometer may be disconnected from reality. A speedometer relies on a sensor package linked to the transmission output shaft on your vehicle. In modern cars, a magnetic pickup measures the revolutions of your transmission’s output shaft and thus calculates your vehicle’s speed. Older vehicles used a mechanical linkage connected to your transmission to measure speed but like many car features, electronic solutions have taken over.

Speedometers can be 100% accurate but that requires fresh tires inflated correctly on factory wheels. Since all tires are in various stages of wear and tire pressures fluctuate with the seasons there’s always a level of variance. If we look at the R32 featured in the video we clearly see a set of winter tires that are not factory for the R32. This can easily throw off the speedo and create a discrepancy with the GPS we see in the video.

Thanks to modern GPS technology we can factor out the inherently inaccurate speedometer and look to satellites to verify autobahn top speed runs. The MKV Golf R32 represents the last large-displacement hot hatchback and reminds us of a time when displacement was required to reach the pinnacle of performance.

Although the modern Golf R is better than the R32 in every measurable way, it will never sound as good as the R32’s 3.2-liter VR6.  

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