VW Launching "R" Performance Sub-Brand

vw launching r performance sub brand

Volkswagen’s recent go-fast specials like the Golf R32 and New Beetle Rsi have typically been developed by a little-known branch of the automaker known as Volkswagen Individual. But performance isn’t necessarily VW Individual’s main focus, as the sub-firm also builds to-order customization of VW products, from police specials to to custom-built stretched Phaetons, and helps VW R&D on new products. In order to focus its efforts, VW is spinning the “R”-vehicle development program into its own unit: R GmbH. “BMW has its M, Mercedes has AMG, and our sibling Audi has Quattro. This new R division will be our Quattro,” an unnamed VW exec tells Inside Line. You know, because Audi and its Quattro performance division isn’t owned by Volkswagen or anything.

But potential cannibalization aside (always a concern when you have seven brands not counting performance sub-brands), the project seems as if its off on the right foot. The Golf R, which replaces the V6-powered R32 with a turbocharged four-pot power, is already earning accolades in Europe, and is reportedly destined to appear in the states. The fact that it will be developed by its own sub-division rather than by VW Individual will be a detail lost on all but a choice few. After all, what percentage of Audi aspirants even know that the S-branded cars are developed by an entirely separate division, known as Quattro GmbH?

Join the conversation
6 of 25 comments
  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jan 28, 2010

    I was under the impression that Audi's performance division was S/S-Line - and that Quattro merely meant that the purchaser was a sissy who needs AWD to keep the car on the road.

  • Davekaybsc Davekaybsc on Jan 29, 2010

    "and that Quattro merely meant that the purchaser was a sissy who needs AWD to keep the car on the road." Your only other choice with an Audi is FWD, is that better? Who says AWD has to be for sissies? Are rally drivers sissies for using AWD cars? How about the 911 Turbo or GT-R? Those sissy cars too? I suppose all Lamborghinis (other than the Balboni) are sissy cars as well. Real men oversteer into a ditch.

  • Kamikaze2b Kamikaze2b on Jan 29, 2010

    Can we get a proper RWD car please?

    • See 1 previous
    • SexCpotatoes SexCpotatoes on Jan 29, 2010

      Yes, 05gt, because I can't wait to pay $50,000+ to guarantee four digit repair bills every year, once the car is out of warranty. Electrical gremlins and the rest. kamikaze2b, if you wait a year or three, you'll be able to get a Chevy Caprice or (new design) Ford Interceptor, off police duty. Those should be more of a 'proper' RWD.

  • FromBrazil FromBrazil on Jan 29, 2010

    Didn't Volvo already take the R thing? Really I don't get it. So you get an R Golf. Doesn't it just tell the rest of the buyers "your car is not good enough". Doesn't it alienate regular customers more than attract new ones? BTW, I think GTi was good enough. I think VW has gone whole-heartedly into the GM bog.