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VR6, VR5 and other info
The VR narrow angle V design is modular. In other words you could feasibly
have a VR12 etc. The narrow angle design allows for the engine to be under
one head, and compact enough to fit into smaller engine bays (A2 VW chassis
i.e. Corrado). I've even seen one retrofitted by RPI into an A1 GTI and by
the Awesome GTI store into a Polo Coupe.
The VR6 is currently built only for transverse mounting (A chassis cars)
while the VR5 is being develped for longitudinal and transverse mounting
styles. There is even a VR8 being developed for a possible VW sedan larger
than the Passat probably based on the new A6.
As for a VR5 in an A3, IMHO I'm guessing that VW will keep the VR engines
in the VW brand cars for marketing purposes. It is feasible that a VR6
could fit in an A3, but fitting the VR6 into any other Audi would be more
trouble than it is worth. Installing one in the upcoming TT should be
Also, the VR6 is available with VWs Syncro system in Europe in the Golf
Syncro and the Golf Variant Syncro.
Another strength to the VR6 is a wealth of aftermarket performance mods
that dwarf the Audi 6cyl, atleast in America. EIP tuning in Maryland is
just now coming to market with a VR6 Turbo setup that is good for over
300bhp in high output settings, and Neuspeed and Automotive Performance
Systems are both working on Vortech based supercharger systems for the VR6.
I think in these cases awd would be a definite plus. Also there are
Variable intake manifolds made by Schrick and the VSR by VW Motorsport
though the latter is pretty rare. These are particularly useful in
improving the torque curve but are also worth about 15bhp.
Last, VW has the narrow angle VR design patented, so in order to use it
Mercedes needs to come to an economic agreement with VW. I am not sure how
much involvement VW had in MB's VR engine design, but the VW VR6 will
definitely live on.
One last useless note. Thew VW based Ford minivan in europe (same as VW
Sharan and SEAT Alhambra) come with the VR6, though again for marketing
reasons it is not called the VR6, nor is the SEAT version though SEAT is
owned by VW. I'm guessing if Audi inherits it's own version of the minivan
as EC magazine alluded to, it'll just be called the A7 2.8, though it'll be
a VR6 2.8 and not an Audi V6 2.8. It's the same thing as an Audi A3 Quattro
actually using the Syncro sytem.
'93 Corrado SLC VR6
'94 Jetta GLX VR6