E s was basically as always: VW was not the inventor of a new technology and not the first provider on the market. In return, the Wolfsburg engineers were very thorough and ultimately successful. Because theoretically a VR motor creates problems at first: the intake path is complicated, the heat dissipation tricky and the narrow angle is unfavorable for smoothness.
Lancia invented the VR principle
But right from the start To: Vincenzo Lancia registered two engines for patents in 1918: a V8 with a 45 degree bank angle and a V12 with a 30 degree bank angle - that is half the theoretically optimal cylinder bank angle. With offset crank pins - a Lancia patent from 1915 - the ignition interval is retained. However, the two engines will not go into series production. Even a V12 with a 13.6 degree cylinder angle, which Lancia shows in 1919, is not installed in production cars. The Lancia Lambda with a V4 engine came onto the market in 1922. The cylinder angle: 14 degrees. Until the 1970s, Lancia built narrow-angled V4 engines - for example in the Fulvia. Then it's quiet for now.
VW brings the VR6 into series production in 1991
Until VW remembers the principle and thus uses the option of installing a six-cylinder transversely in the Golf and Passat. The compact design - the greatest advantage of the VR design - always gives the engine an advantage where space is tight. Where the question arises: this six-cylinder or none? For transverse installation, VW developed a VR six-cylinder that first appeared in the Passat in 1991. In the new top model, the second engine curiosity works alongsidethe G60, whose in-line four-cylinder engine brings a spiral G-charger to 160 hp. With a slightly larger bore (82.0 instead of 81.0 mm), the engine has a displacement of 2.9 liters and 190 hp - first use in the Corrado in July 1991, later in the Syncro versions of the Golf and Passat.
Golf with six-cylinder
The Golf initially received the 2.8-liter VR6 in September 1991. An expensive top-of-the-line model, which is particularly highly rated in terms of insurance - and a car for connoisseurs that is hardly different from the GTI. Until the 130i from BMW, the Golf remains the compact model with the largest naturally aspirated engine, at least among European manufacturers. It is also remarkable that, two Golf generations later, VW is launching a four-cylinder turbo compressor on the market which, with 170 hp, produces practically the same output from half the displacement. The VR6 is still available in the Golf V: In the R32 it makes itself strong with 3.2 liters of displacement and four valves: the narrow-angled six-cylinder now has 250 hp.
Cross to success
And it's not the end. Because to this day VW builds a 3.6-liter version with 300 PS in the US SUV Atlas. Cross, because the Atlas is based on the MQB technology construction kit. On the way there, the exotic engine has come a long way: has the Cayenne, Q7, Touareg and Phaeton installed lengthways base engine. The VR6 motorized vans from Ford, Mercedes, Seat and VW were used in mobile homes from Winnebago and Dehlercomfortable Säusler and to this day toil in a throttled industrial version and powered by gas in industrial trucks from Still, Jungheinrich and Linde.
By omitting a cylinder, the VR6 became the V5, the was used in Golf, Bora and Beetle. Two VR6s resulted in a W12 in the VW Nardo study, which was later installed as standard in the Phaeton and Touareg. The W8 of the Passat and the W16 of the Bugatti Veyron are also based on the design principle of the VR6.