Volkswagen preparing new VR6 engine

The next VR6 will be cleaner and more efficient than the current unit.

An anonymous source at Volkswagen has confirmed that the wild, track-only Design Vision GTI concept that bowed earlier this week at the W├Ârthersee show in Austria previews the next generation of the VR6 engine.

Part of the automaker's lineup for over 20 years, the VR6 was previously believed to be living on borrowed time because it will have a difficult time complying with the strict fuel economy and pollution standards that are looming in key markets all around the world. However, thanks to modifications such as advanced direct fuel injection and turbocharging, Volkswagen engineers have reportedly managed to keep it around for at least another generation.

Technical details are still scarce, but early reports indicate the 3.0-liter mill has a single cylinder head that sits atop six cylinders offset at 15-degree angle. The engine makes 503 horsepower and 416 lb-ft. of torque in the Design Vision GTI, but its output will be significantly lowered once it reaches regular production.

The next VR6 is slated to power many of Volkswagen's larger models, including the next-gen Touareg, Phaeton, CC and Passat models. Whether or not the mill will be shoehorned under the hood of the seventh-generation Golf is not known, though a limited-edition, performance-focused six-cylinder hot hatch is not out of the question.

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