Volkswagen’s VR6 is twenty years old

It’s hard to believe, but it’s now twenty years since Volkswagen’s narrow angle VR6 engine made its début in the Mk3 Golf. The 12 valve, 172 bhp 2.8L unit – VW’s first six-cylinder petrol engine – was designed to be as compact as possible in order to fit transversely in the Golf’s bay. An enlarged, 188 bhp 2.9L version was later produced for the Corrado and 4WD Passat Syncro – for Europe only.

The original VR6’s modern-day successor lives on in the four-wheel drive (4MOTION) Passat R36, which uses a 296 bhp 3.6L engine. That’s enough to launch the DSG-equipped Passat to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 155 mph.

As Volkswagen fanatics, we personally remember when VR6 engines started to appear in the classifieds, still mounted in discarded (crashed) Golfs and Corrados. They soon found their way into earlier Golf models. Two of our favourites were Dubsport’s Rallye Golf, that had not one – but two VR6 units, and its Mk1 Golf, which had a rear-mounted, turbocharged VR6, producing over 400 bhp. Sadly, the only video we can find is of Dubsport’s Mk3 Golf (with Cabriolet 3.5 facelift), which had a pair of turbocharged VR6s – producing 650 bhp.

Happy birthday VR6!

[Source: Volkswagen Germany]

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