After letting its performance halo R range drop to just a single model, Volkswagen looks set to breathe new life into its performance division with an onslaught of new models set for future release.
Following complications arising from Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal the R range of vehicles suffered a setback leaving only the Golf R to fly the performance flag, but Car and Driver reports that Volkswagen has now stabilised enough to push on with performance plans.
Unlike previous R models, like the Scirocco R and Passat R36, the focus will move away from traditional passenger cars and towards more profitable SUVs. While purists may baulk at the new approach it’s not without precedent, with the previous Touareg large SUV featuring a flagship V10 diesel-powered R50 model.
This time Volkswagen’s performance division will turn its attention to the brand’s newest addition, the T-Roc compact SUV as well as creating a Tiguan R and revisiting the past with a new Touareg R.
Both the T-Roc R and Tiguan R models are likely to be powered by high-output versions of Volkswagen’s existing four-cylinder engine, with a larger engine (though no work on whether it will feature six or eight cylinders) scheduled to appear in the Touareg R.
SUVs won’t be the only avenue of attention though, with suggestions that Volkswagen’s new Arteon four-door coupe could also be given the R treatment featuring a new turbocharged version of Volkswagen’s narrow-angle V6 to sit above the current 206kW four-cylinder engine.
The renewed energy at Volkswagen comes thanks to the appointment of a new head of the R division, Jost Capito, whose previous credentials include time as the head of Ford Motorsports, plus appointments at Sauber F1, McLaren Racing, Porsche and a previous stint with Volkswagen’s motorsport arm.
Along with the new model push Volkswagen won’t forget its bread and butter, with a next-generation Golf R under development including appreciable power gains over the current model’s 228kW European output, although rumours of a smaller Polo R have trailed off leaving the Polo GTI as that model line’s flagship for now.