When Volkswagen launched its VR6 engine in the Passat and in the Golf, it was a sure sign that the brand was moving upmarket. With its narrow cylinder angle of only 15 degrees, the V-6/inline-6 mashup of an engine was designed specifically for front-wheel-drive vehicles, where it would be transverse mounted. The VR6 brought strong performance and silky-smooth power delivery to lower vehicle segments. It was subsequently fitted in a large number of VW Group vehicles, as well as the Ford Galaxy and Mercedes-Benz V-class minivans in Europe. In the U.S. market, it’s offered today in the Passat, the CC, the Touareg, and the entry-level Porsche Cayenne. But it looks as though its days are numbered.
In Europe, the VR6 has quietly been dropped from the Passat, the CC, and the Phaeton. It’s gone in the Touareg, as well. Sales were so low that VW didn’t bother to homologate the engine to meet EU6 emissions standards.