New Turbo VR6 Crate Engines Are a Godsend for Modern VWs

If you crave six-cylinder power in your VW, it’s hard to go past a crate engine with 550 horsepower on tap.

byLewin Day|
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Volkswagen offers a range of powerful four-cylinder engines, giving today's cars a terrifying level of performance compared to the humble Beetles it grew famous for. There's something special about cramming more cylinders into a compact car, though, and HPA Motorsports is happy to support that with its new VR6 crate engine.

The VR6 engine was first released by Volkswagen in 1991. Also known as the "staggered six," the VR6 uses a very narrow angle of 10.5 to 15 degrees between cylinder banks, allowing the use of a single head for all six cylinders. The design was optimized to fit a full six-cylinder engine into compact transverse-layout engine bays. Once used right across the VW range, the VR6 is now only seen in larger models, like the Atlas SUV. It's also dead in America, so HPA's crate engine may be the only way you'll source a new one from now on.

According to an Instagram post, the VR6 crate engine project has been over two years in the making. The engine, to be known as the VR550T, will be a 2.5-liter turbocharged VR6 good for 550 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque. A further video on the project shows an Mk 7 Golf doing hard launches with plenty of turbo noises, suggesting this platform could be a prime target for the swap.

HPA suggests the crate engine is its way to "deliver you the Golf R you have always asked for." While the Golf R has always been available with a potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine, it's understandable that some would long for a fancier drivetrain. After all, the legendary Golf R32, the forebearer of the Golf R, debuted with a 3.2-liter VR6 engine for the 2003 model year.

No details on pricing are available at this stage, but HPA is building excitement as it promises further details to come. In any case, it appears the company has plenty of stock on hand. Based on a picture of pallets full of engines, it's clear there's an expectation of significant demand for the engine.

HPA Motorsports are no strangers to the world of fast VWs. The company is well-known for its work surrounding potent VR6 powerplants. It even built a bonkers Mk 3 Scirocco with Golf R32 parts that puts down a mental 565 hp.

If you've always wanted to know what a Golf R would be like with six-cylinder propulsion, HPA Motorsports looks to be offering you the perfect opportunity. If you've got the money to chase such a build, it might be worth giving them a call.

Got a tip? Let the author know: lewin@thedrive.com

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