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Once again the rumors were correct with VW now officially announcing Volkswagen R GmbH, a special division of the German automaker dedicated to “sporty exclusive models.” Something akin to BMW M or Mercedes AMG, VW’s R brand will oversee the development of special R models as well as R Line design packages and special “Volkswagen Exclusive” items including things like custom leather interiors and new wheel designs. Currently Volkswagen has developed two R model, the Scirocco R and Golf R.
Currently both models are only available in Europe, but the Golf R may yet see our shores. It uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine to makes 265-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque and combines it with VW’s 4MOTION AWD setup to deliver a 0-62 mph time of just 5.5 seconds!
VW created the R division to cater to what it sees as an increasing demand for individualization in the marketplace, while also acknowledging it will help promote the sporty side of the automaker.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Golf R
Official release after the jump:
High-performance coupe and sedan versions likely to get 265-hp
With the launch of the Golf R, Volkswagen is considering a Jetta R model that will help expand the brand’s soon-to-be-launched high-performance R division. This new Jetta R won’t be based on the current Jetta platform but on the all-new Jetta, which is known as the New Compact Sedan. The look of the car was previewed at the Detroit Auto Show recently, in coupe form, with the introduction of the New Compact Coupe.
Volkswagen admits that high-performance European models are just too pricey to import to the U.S. and so by using this new Jetta platform, designed specifically to be a more affordable vehicle, it will be able to build high-performance models for the U.S. marketplace.
Plans for a Jetta R are well underway and while VW won’t officially confirm reports, it is believed that both an Jetta R Coupe and Jetta R Sedan are likely – much in the way that Honda offers the Civic Si in coupe and sedan forum. This new model would very much be aimed at the Si-crowd.
Most likely the a Jetta R would share its powertrain with the Golf R, using a turbocharged 4-cylinder making 265-hp. It is also likely to get VW’s 4MOTION AWD system and a long list of performance modifications, from a stiffer and lower suspension to bigger wheels and more powerful brakes.
Interestingly, in an interview with Inside Line, VW confirmed that the next Jetta will be build with two different rear suspension designs. The first will be a low cost torsion beam setup and the second will be a more sophisticated, sportier and more expensive multi-link setup.
Volkswagen has made it clear that it plans to become the world’s largest automaker and to more than quadruple sales in the U.S. by 2018. While high-performance R models aren’t likely to be top sellers, they will help create brand recognition and help sell standard Jetta and Golf models.
Volkswagen will launch an “R GmbH” performance division at the Geneva Auto Show in March, dedicated to producing sporty accessory lines and high-performance models of existing cars. In Europe, VW already offers a Scirocco R and has just introduced the Golf R with 265-hp, 4MOTION all-wheel drive and a long list of upgrades.
An unnamed VW executive told Inside Line that VW aims to make this its equivalent to BMW’s M and Mercedes’ AMG.
It is expected that the new R performance division will also encompass VW’s R-Line performance accessories.
Volkswagen has yet to officially confirm reports, but it’s likely that the new Golf R will be offered in North America, possibly under the GTI-R badge.
We’ll bring you more details of the launch of the new R division with live coverage from the Geneva Auto Show starting March 1st.