Mike Stevens | Jan 28, 2010

REPORTS OUT OF the US this week suggest Volkswagen is looking to take its R models one step further, turning the badge into a full-fledged performance arm.

Starting with the Golf IV R32, the performance VW range expanded through to the Golf V R32, Passat R36 and Touareg R50 of the following generation. For its latest line-up, the badge has evolved to an unfettered 'R' designation.

According to US website Inside Line, sources at Volkswagen say the Golf R and Scirocco R are precursors to a complete BMW M-like R division, offering even greater performance and handling than before.

Already, the new Golf R is the most powerful Golf in the model's history, its 2.0 litre turbo producing 199kW - a sight better than the 184kW offered by its V6 predecessor in the Golf V R32.

While the Golf R is destined for Australia in 2010, Volkswagen Australia is still considering the business case for the Scirocco R. For now, the company is focused on ensuring the success of the Golf R, GTI and GTD models.

The Volkswagen source would not confirm if the German carmaker is developing more R models, but an R version of the next generation 2011 Jetta is reportedly being considered.

"We don't want to leave the affordable performance sedan market in the U.S. to our rivals, but importing sporting models from Europe is proving prohibitively expensive at the moment,' the source told Inside Line.

The source added that the new Jetta has been designed with two rear suspension variants; one a simple torsion beam setup, and the other a more advanced multilink arrangement.

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