Diesel engines and AWD may be on the cards for the future of VW's R Performance line-up.
According to the top dogs of Volkswagen's R performance sub-brand, happy days are ahead as the German automaker foresees a future where the R-brand becomes more accessible to a wider audience who will be able to enjoy fuel-efficient high performance powerplants at the heart of their VWs. Speaking with Autoblog at the LA Auto Show, R's Executive Director Ulrich Riestebpatt gt. Richter and Marketing Head Dr. H. Muth confirmed that "The future [of R] is diesel and all-wheel-drive."
Further he contended that an R version of any VW vehicle can be made, so as well as seeing VW R in the form of an AWD diesel hatchback, a Passat R is possible, while the Beetle R Concept could well see production. The Golf R is earmarked for US showrooms early next year and already we have seen R-branded performance parts finding their way into VW core products. This is telling, as although Mr. Richter acknowledges Hybrids are important with the Jetta Hybrid soon to debut in Detroit, VW are clearly focused on producing cars that are thrilling and thrifty in equal measure.
The fuel savings made by hybrid-electrics can be easily compensated by a simple weight reduction according to Mr. Richter who openly admits that "you can get the same efficiency by dropping 100 kilos." However, aluminum over advanced composites such as carbon-fiber is the way forward due to its significantly lower costs, and coupled to a high-performance diesel engine, the R-performance line-up may well become an integral component of VW's push to become the world's number one automaker. Photos displayed are of the 2010 Volkswagen Scirocco R and 2011 Volkswagen Beetle R Concept.