Report: VW Planning R Performance Division

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Earlier this week we got a detailed look at the 2011 Volkswagen Golf R, which is expected to hit U.S. dealers in the first half of next year. But VW isn't stopping there--an R division is in the works, to be a hub for VW's hotted-up models.

The news comes by way of an unnamed executive via report at Inside Line. The new R division will be built as an analogue to BMW's M Division, Mercedes-Benz's AMG and Audi's Quattro, according to the source.

The 2011 VW Golf R is the first of the new R cars we expect to see here in North America. The Scirocco R was expected for the U.S., but the rug was pulled from under the standard Scirocco, and the R went with it. Powered by a 2.0-liter 265-horsepower TSI engine, the new Golf R is the most powerful Golf model ever, besting even the venerable R32. With a dual-clutch DSG gearbox and 4Motion all-wheel drive, the hottest Golf hatch promises pavement- and gravel-thrashing fun in a smart little package.

No other R division cars are planned for the U.S. at present, though accessories and upgrades may yet come. VW's Individual program in Europe features R-Line factory-custom accessories, and the R division is expected to take on many of the Individual program's traits as well. Future plans include full R-treatment versions of every VW model susceptible to the process (meaning the Tiguan and Routan are likely out), though again, U.S. availability is up in the air.

It will be interesting to see how VW's R division cars stack up against Audi and Porsche's offerings, especially as several vehicle platforms span all three brands. Pricing, performance and features will likely face some overlap, and it's worth wondering what VW hopes to achieve by the addition of the R division. All we know is it means faster, better-equipped versions of already solid cars, and as long as the price tag is kept in check, that's something we can agree with.

[Inside Line]

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Comments (8)
  1. So how is this going to work? Lets not forget Jaguar also has an R performance division....

  2. I find no reference that Jaguar has a R "Division". They seen to just have an option package for their models they call "R". I think VW is planning exclusive models designed and made by an R Division.

  3. I see your logic NC2000 but your most likely not a lawyer therefore not looking at this with rose tinted lawyer glasses...
    i.e. Porsche did'nt make saloon cars in the sixties but when they wanted to call the 911 a 901 the lawyers at Peugeot said otherwise!

  4. Audi does not have a "Quattro" division, that would be the name of their all-wheel-drive. The performance cars are designed/engineered by their subsidiary, "quattro GmbH."

  5. Probably a grand or so more than the last R32 with few options such as leather seats and 19" being the primary ones. From initial UK reports, this car is pretty damn sweet - faster than an S3 without the turbo lag, refined ride and manner, predictable steering, 5.5 to 62mph with DSG.
    Can't wait for it arrive in the US... my guess is about 12 months from now.

  6. R is a strange name considering that audi's performance models are already called "r" not quattro or gmbh.

  7. Rich Audi does not call its performance cars R, unless you count the R8, usually they are S for midgrade performance and RS for hgiher performance.

  8. Hi ,
    They seen to just have an option package for their models they call "R". I think VW is planning exclusive models designed and made by an R Division.

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