The Golf R has been a slow-burning success for Volkswagen. In four generations (including R32-badged predecessors), it’s evolved from an esoteric fan-boy special into a pillar of VW performance.
Given the success of the Golf R, perhaps it’s not too surprising that Volkswagen is considering making other “R” performance models.
Speaking to Australia’s Motoring, Volkswagen head of powertrain development Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser said the carmaker could theoretically apply the “R” badge to any model it makes, but that financial considerations will weed out some of the stranger possibilities.
So while we probably won’t see a Touareg R anytime soon, hot-rod versions of the Europe-only Polo, the Passat, and additional Golf variants are all possible.
The Polo is raced by Volkswagen in World Rally Championship, and the carmaker already produced a handful of Polo R WRC street models.
Given that the U.S. and European versions are substantially different, a Passat R isn’t a shoo-in for the U.S. either.
The previous-generation Passat R36 wasn’t sold here, but considering that the new model could sport all-wheel drive and a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, it would be a shame if VW didn’t bring it Stateside.
In addition, Volkswagen could take a more conservative approach and simply add more Golf-based variants.
Neusser previously said the carmaker would put the 395-horsepower Golf R 400 concept from the 2014 Beijing Motor Show into production.
It would be great to see VW stick it to the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG with a steroidal Golf, and a big-brother Passat R could give fans the perfect two-car garage. Assuming both cars make it to the U.S., that is.