Thursday, January 12, 2012

Volkswagen Considering VR6 Replacements; Audi’s Turbo Five a Possibility

via Car and Driver Blog by Justin Berkowitz on 1/10/12

Volkswagen's powerful, refined VR6 won us over in the new Passat—helping it beat the Honda Accord in a recent Car and Driver comparison test—but it won't stay in production, as-is, forever. Speaking with Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, a member of the Volkswagen board of management who oversees research and development, we learned that the company is facing a decision on what to do for an engine that can provide V-6 levels of power in its U.S. cars.As it stands, the VR6 is expensive to build and import, and doesn't sell in many vehicles: In addition to the new Passat, it's also offered in VW's Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne. Hackenberg tells us that the company may decide to use the VR6 in more U.S.products—though precisely which cars is unclear—or ditch the mill altogether. If the latter, Hackenberg is particularly interested in replacing it with "a turbo five, as we just used in the Audi [TT RS]." In the U.S.-spec TT RS, the engine makes 360 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque; the Audi Q3, which was just announced for the U.S., will be offered here with a 314-hp version of the engine.

If the turbo five does get the green light for VW products, it'd be produced here in North America. Possible applications include the Passat and the Touareg. We're eager to see what Hackenberg and his colleagues decide in the coming months.

2012 Detroit auto show full coverage


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