The Volkswagen R performance sub-brand isn't just a niche cog in the massive machine known as the Volkswagen Auto Group. If R GmbH's heads are to be believed, it's an instrumental component of the German automaker's push to offer something for everyone. And after speaking with the two men shepherding R into the future, it appears that good things are on the way.

With the Golf R set to go on sale in the U.S. early next year and R-branded performance parts already proliferating throughout VW's core products, Ulrich Riestenpatt gt. Richter, R's Executive Director, and Dr. Hendrik Muth, R's marketing head, are looking to the future. Fortunately, they were thoughtful enough to provide Autoblog with a small glimpse into what's on the way.

"The future is diesel and all-wheel-drive," Richter told us on the floor of last week's LA Auto Show. That could mean that the next great performance offering from VW R could come in the form of an AWD diesel hatch – essentially an oil-burning Golf R. Further, Richter contends that he can make an R version of any vehicle in the VW stable, so don't be surprised to see a Passat R in the coming years and the Beetle R getting the green light.

Just as telling, Richter says that while hybrids have their place (VW will be introducing a Jetta hybrid at the Detroit Auto Show), the fuel savings of hybrid-electric systems pale in comparison to weight reduction. "You can get the same efficiency [as a hybrid] by dropping 100 kilos," Richter admits, but the high cost of advanced composites – namely carbon fiber – is still too high. So that means more aluminum is on the way, and partnered with a high-performance diesel powerplant, enthusiasts should be able to have their tire-shredding cake and eat less at the pump in the process.


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  • 54 Comments
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      Diesel, all-wheel drive and light weight? Good trick if they can pull it off.
      Will
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm sold. Too bad the US versions will likely be watered down versions of the models the Europeans get. I shake my fist at you, Europe!
      Shawn Feller
      • 3 Years Ago
      If vw would get the balls and make and affordable AWD diesel we'd eat them up...but they just cannot price them right. How do you afford them in Europe?
      saleens7turb0
      • 3 Years Ago
      Finally some company is getting a slight idea behind the ability of diesels. I think it's unfortunate most companies are going the more complex route of utilizing hybrid systems. And for all the people that think diesels are slow take a look at diesel power magazine before you make your judgement calls. Some of these diesel hot rod truck guys are getting 8k pound trucks to pass the quarter mile in 11 seconds or less and still achieve 20 mpg. Most diesel trucks today in stock form will out run my 02 ford focus svt, but as most will point out i'll win in the corners with ease. And modify a diesel truck a little (chip, air intake, exhaust for starters then move to high flow injectors, compound turbos, high rate fuel pumps) and they will have insane torque and hp levels. I will admit they are a very heavy engines but if you had a light weight mid engine layout vehicle I think you could make one fabulous super car and get 30 mpg even with huge power and torque numbers. And the engine will last so much longer then any a typical high performance gasoline engine.
        Rick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @saleens7turb0
        Volvo has a turbo diesel hybrid, 124mpg. I know VW could do it just as nice but with the DSG. http://www.plugincars.com/volvo-unveils-plug-hybrid-diesel-v60-124-mpg-30-mile-battery-range-awd-0-60-69-sec-106840.html
      diffrunt
      • 3 Years Ago
      An oily R would be most tempting were it not for the VW undependability factor.
      Carlos Cruz
      • 3 Years Ago
      If Diesel and AWD is cupled with DSG then I'm sold!
      QCRamAir
      • 3 Years Ago
      Finally, someone has the right idea. A fun, capable powertrain with proven technology that's efficient AND has stump-pulling torque? Gee, that sounds terrible! Not... Turbo-diesel + lighter weight = win.
      CarCrazy24
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love the plan, can't wait to see the final products!
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      TURBO-DIESEL HYRBRD PLEASE!!! Or just a turbo diesel w/AWD is good enough. The US needs more diesel and we need more turbo diesels for sure.
        Gubbins
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Yes! Having previously been a Diesel hater and being converted by spending some quality time with a Jetta Diesel, I agree completely. More recently, experiences with a turbo Diesel-powered rental car in Europe reinforced this. More Diesels...please?
      quaid_
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about... AWD TDI Electric Hybrid Aluminum for weight reduction Start stop tech Regenerative braking Cylinder de-activation Lithium-ion batteries w/graphene improved anodes Flat undercarriage similar to F1 Superhydrophobic nano coating exterior and interior LED lighting for everything. Ah crap I was dreaming again.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @quaid_
        Hmm, maybe to save weight, have the diesel power the fronts and the electric mainly powering the back, as opposed to an extremely complex AW-D system plus integrating the electric with the transmission. Though knowing the diesel is more powerful than the backup electric, Id rather have it rear wheel driven.
      KAG
      • 3 Years Ago
      I seen some after market VW and Skoda's with some serious power so why not.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Georg
        • 3 Years Ago
        VW won the 2.0l turbo class at the 24h northloop the last years with GTI and Scirocco...with petrol and alternative fuel.. against Evo, WRX, MPS3, Focus, Civic etc.. best part is they won the race at the northloop with their stock DSG transmission... last 24h they raced with a UK made "race company" made race transmission wich failed big time in all cars.. The Golf R beat the shi*t of the MPS3 at every track compare ... Tsukuba Golf R 1.5s quicker Inta Golf R 0.5s quicker Hockenheim short Golf R 1.1s quicker Autozeitung handling track Golf R 1.6s quicker 0-100km/h Golf R 1.1s quicker 0-160km/h(100mph) Golf R 1.2s quicker 0-200km/h (125mph) Golf R 2s quicker 1/4mile Golf R 1s quicker Golf R vs WRX STI nearly identical perfromance straight and track 0-100mph the Golf R is slightly faster 0-125mph the WRX STI is slightly faster Golf R vs Evo X MR SST Golf R faster in the straight ...identical track perfromance 0-125mph Golf R 2s quicker in Europe both WRX STI and EVO X are MUCH more expansive than Golf R base price Golf R 37,375 ($50,400) WRX STI 47,900Euro - 52,500Euro ($64,700 to 70.800) depending on base version Lancer Evo MR 49,950Euro ($67,500) all prices include 19% VAT In europe WRX STI and Evo are completely overpriced ...the reason why they are rare only japanese fanboys buy them... They are so expansive that they are pretty close priced to cars like the Audi S4, S5, TT-RS, RS3, BMW 1M Coupe cars like the Golf R, 370Z are pure bargain in europe compared to the former WRC cars... and btw not the Celica was the first hot hatch ...the Celica was a small liftback Coupe and never a hatchback
        denverdave
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ha ha you're Just a boring troll.
          denverdave
          • 3 Years Ago
          @denverdave
          I was speaking about columbianrice's predictable trollitude
        Justin Campanale
        • 3 Years Ago
        Fried Rice fails yet again. Look up the Golf R performance specs-it actually OUTPERFORMS every single one of the cars you mention, and it is much more refined and has a better interior. It may seem overpriced, but when you consider that the R is easier to live with, is more refined, and will hold its value better, it is completely worth it.
          Justin Campanale
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          Great, so you took the BEST times for the WRX and the WORST for the Golf R. BTW, the WRX which you got the 0-60 time from was modified. When you compare the BEST times that you can find, unmodified, the Golf R has a 0-60 time of around 5.3 seconds, while the WRX has one of around 5.7 seconds. 1/4 mile? 13.9 vs 14.1. Skidpad? 0.85 vs 0.83. Golf R also has a faster Nuburgring time UNMODIFIED. The Golf's 4motion system is actually not that bad. It's obvious that you have never driven it. I have spent time with a Golf R in France, and I can tell you, 4Motion works. It plain and simple works. The Golf may be $6k more-it is also easier to live with, has a more comfortable ride, is more refined, and has a MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better interior. Plus, it will hold its value since it is a limited edition. I am a big Subaru fan too, but the WRX is one area out of many where VW has them beat. I'm sure that the next WRX will walk all over the R, but for right now, the R plain and simple wins.
          oRenj9
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          Yeah, that 256hp/243ft.lb, 3400lb 2.0L Golf really does put the hurting on the 265/244 3100lb 2.5L WRX. I mean, it does "OUTPERFROM" the WRX in a few categories like, curb weight, heavier (but skinnier) wheels and price tag. Unfortunately, it gets its ass kicked by anything related to performance, like 0-60 times (5.7s v. 4.9), quarter mile (14.0 v 13.7), skid pad (0.83 v 0.89). That isn't even getting to the differences between the Golf's laggy, part-time, off-the-shelf Haldex AWD system compared to Subaru's instantaneous, purely mechanical, full-time AWD system. All for only $6,000 more! What a BARGAIN!!! NOT. (( I've owned VWs and WRXes before, so I'm pretty well unbiased ))
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          [blocked]
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