It's about damn time.
Volkswagen has a history of attracting enthusiasts, yet has never made an out and out sports car. The original Beetle and buses built a global following that still exists today, while the Golf GTI can legitimately claim to be an icon, having invented the category of the hot hatchback. The Corrado burned bright before it went away, the Jetta has had a strange cult-like following since it arrived, and the Golf-based Scirocco still sells outside of America. But, in reality, Volkswagen currently only offers three cars you could file under the Enthusiast Car heading without wincing: The Golf GTI, Golf R, and Jetta GLI.
While talking with journalists, Scott Keogh, Volkswagen Group of America president and CEO, told Motor Authority that he believed Volkswagen is an enthusiast brand, and that "we should be making more enthusiast cars." Keogh then confirmed the next-generation of European built Golf GTI and Golf R will make it to American dealers but says Volkswagen is still figuring out if the Sportwagen variants will follow. Given that Audi has decided to give wagons another shot in the US by sending over the A6 and RS6 Avant models, it seems likely that Volkswagen is waiting to see how well they sell before committing.
When asked about performance trimmed SUVs, Keogh said: "Golf R is a beloved car and we think we can create the same magic in some other segments." Volkswagen could easily transplant the GTI and Golf R powertrains into the Tiguan, or possibly even the Atlas, but that is just one aspect of performance. Adapting a crossover or SUV would need the chassis to be developed as well, particularly the suspension system.
Volkswagen has shown before that enthusiast cars don't have only to be high-speed variants, and the signs look good. We're particularly looking forward to the electric Volkswagen Bus that should arrive over the next couple of years.