By on April 24, 2010

BMW has M, Mercedes has AMG, and what does Volkswagen have for the person that wants more (factory-approved) oomph under the hood? This is going to change. Except for quietly lending tech support to the odd private team Volkswagen has been avoiding the racing circuit. This is also going to change.

Volkswagen established a new wholly-owned subsidiary, Volkswagen R GmbH. (If something goes wrong, Volkswagen can always say, it wasn’t them.) With a workforce of over 350 people, the R GmbH builds performance-enhanced and upgraded sports cars. They are called (surprise, surprise) “R models.” R GmbH is also open to customized solutions.

Volkswagen R GmbH is the main sponsor for the inaugural running of the Scirocco R-Cup this year. As racing always is suspect of messing with the climate, R stresses that this is “the most eco-friendly one-make cup series in the world.” And because it’s a one-make race, Volkswagen can never lose.

First products will be a Golf R and a Scirocco R.

The Scirocco R is a 195 kW / 265 hp front-wheel drive car. The Golf R brings 199 kW / 270 PS to all four wheels.The Golf R sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds. The Scirocco R takes 6.0 seconds, takes just a blink of the eye longer. An optional dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) promises an even better hole-shot.

The first Scirocco-R-Cup race will go underway this Sunday at the Hockenheim Ring. Traveling with the DTM, the R-Cuppies will visit the UK and Brands Hatch on the 3-4 September.

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18 Comments on “VeeDub Adds Rrrrrrrracy Models...”

  • avatar


    What are the odds that ANY of these R models will make it to North America?


  • avatar

    I so badly want a 5-door/manual Golf R to replace my GTI when the time comes. If VW brings it to the US, I pray it comes in that configuration.

  • avatar

    Wonder if that AWD Golf will still weigh a ton, though. -What was it last time like 3600lbs?

  • avatar

    At this point, what’s the point of having a performance subsidiary? Does anyone think that AMG is really anything other than a badge? Ford dismantled their SVO group and it hasn’t stopped them from selling hi-po Mustangs and the SHO Taurus.

    Sure, it’s possible for a skunk works inside a big company to come up with something wild and crazy, and the SVO group actually was pretty profitable for Ford, with less than 3 dozen people in a group that ended up selling many thousands of cars, but when it comes to the final consumer I don’t think it makes much of a difference as long as the performance is there. Yeah, for some, the cachet of an AMG or M badge is important (important enough for there to be plenty of faux AMGs and Ms), but companies have successfully marketed limited edition performance models both ways.

    • 0 avatar

      In the picture of honest enthusiast analysis, I agree – why bother having a ‘performance division’? You and I will candle the performance egg, and see what’s actually in there.

      However, it would seem that you have identified the only real reason to have them, and that is marketing.

      As you well know, selling cars is merely a business. We enthusiasts would love for it to be something more (and sometimes it is), but in the big picture, if the company doesn’t make money, someday it will go broke. (Yeah, even GM will eventually.)

      I’m 100% that you have an understanding of marketing, the average schlub, and the fact that branding matters. Especially to consumers who are looking for validation of their choices to be patently obvious.

      The validity of such branding is determined by the sales numbers for said brand. As long as the perception or cachet of said brand justifies an extra consumer outlay, it works.

      My meta question would be, what is the value perception to the consumer of this label?

  • avatar

    First, VW needs to make a RWD manual transmission car worthy of being upgraded.


  • avatar

    Seems like a chipped GTI would have the same power numbers as the Golf R, with less weight (lacking AWD)? Shouldn’t that translate into equivalent or even better performance at less cost, complexity, and fuel consumption?

    • 0 avatar

      Certainly better fuel consumption… but the thing is if you are allowing for the GTI driver to chip their car, then the Golf R can chip their car too…and the Golf R seems like it comes with a bigger turbo (k04 vs k03) and associated hardware, so it would take a decent amount of work to get the GTI into chipped Golf R territory.

    • 0 avatar

      Leon FR and Golf GTI(211hp both) are both 6.9s 0-100kmh. The Leon Cupra R with 265hp is 6,2 0-100kmh. All with manual trans and FWD. 0-100kmh for the Golf R is listed as 5,7s(manual and DSG). Seat does not list weights or 80-120kmh numbers for some reason but i suspect it would be pretty even.

      The 265hp and 270hp engines have equal max torque numbers, 350Nm / 2500-5000rpm.

      It would be nice if manufacturers listed quarter-mile times…

    • 0 avatar

      Another question would be the relative cost of a Golf R vs a GTI. The GTI can be had nicely equipped for $24K-ish. Add $600+ for an APR. Pretty competitive at the price point. Would the R come in at $30k+?

    • 0 avatar

      2-doors and both with DSG, the GTI is 39k€ and the R is 53k€. Just for comparison, a Leon FR DSG is 31k€ and and Evo X auto starts at 61k€. The cheapest Golf is 19k€, cheapest Leon is 18k€ and cheapest lancer 21k€. Progressive CO2-based taxes and all..

      Tax-free prizes: GTI DSG: 29,5k€, Golf R DSG: 38,5k€, Leon FR DSG: 23k€, Evo X auto 40k€.
      Tax-free cheapest models: Golf: 14,8k€, Leon 13.9k€, Lancer 16,5k€.

  • avatar

    Not everyone wants to chip or modify thier cars not to mention the warranty issues.

  • avatar

    Funny, a stone stock Speed3 will still take a Golf R according to specs.

  • avatar

    Doesn’t Volvo already use “R” for their higher-powered cars? I am thinking specifically of the S60R. So many letters, do we really need to re-use them?

  • avatar

    Judging by VW’s previous attempts, these R cars will be significantly slower probably less reliable than their Japanese competition, yet cost more.

    At least they have nice plaid interiors, though!

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