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by David Zalstein

Volkswagen is reportedly developing a replacement for its unique VR6 powerplant used in previous performance models.

Engineering sources from inside Volkswagen have reportedly disclosed to Autoweek plans for a new engine based on the original VR6 six-cylinder’s distinctive layout.

Differing from conventional 60- or 90-degree V6 engines, the VR6 employed a narrow 15-degree angle for its cylinder banks designed to ensure more compact dimensions.

Volkswagen Golf R32

In 3.2- and 3.6-litre capacities respectively, the naturally aspirated VR6 was used to power the 177kW/320Nm Mk4 and 184kW/320Nm Mk5 Volkswagen Golf R32 and the 220kW/350Nm Passat R36.

According to the report, under the eye of Volkswagen’s new engine development head, former Mercedes-Benz AMG engine developer Fritz Eichler, the new engine will not only feature a 3.0-litre capacity and the 15-degree cylinder bank angle, it is also to be turbocharged.

A twin-turbo setup has been proposed, similar to the engine used in the wild Volkswagen Golf GTI Design Vision concept (pictured below) seen at this year’s Worthersee tuning meet in Austria.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Design Vision

Though the concept car’s transversely mounted engine produced 370kW and 560Nm – up 208kW and 210Nm on the Mk7 Golf GTI’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder – expectation is for a tamer production version with outputs in the region of 250kW to 330kW.

If the VR6 replacement reaches production, it’s anticipated to power a range of Volkswagen models, potentially including the next-gen Passat and Passat CC, a production version of the CrossBlue concept, and even a successor to the Scirocco.




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