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Discussion Starter #1
I've long been curious as to why VW produced two 2.8 v6 engines. In 2004 VW produced and sold the ATQ in the Passat that we all know, and the VR6 24v BDE in the GTI. Isn't this curious? The VR6 was the more powerful engine (200hp vs 190 for the ATQ) and the extra 10hp would have been welcome in the heavier Passat. Does anyone have any insight into why this was so?
 

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The VR6 was designed by VW long before 2004. It was in the B4 Passat in the mid 90s and had 172hp and similar TQ. .The VR was designed to fit in a small car/transverse setup as it had a 15 degree offset and only used 1 head.

Audi was developing the 2.8 V6 at the same time, but it was based off of the 3.6l V8, which was based off of 4cyl 1.8 16V VW engines! The 2.8 is a 90 degree V6.

While VW owned Audi, they often built their own engines. Since Audi built more cars with longitudinal engines, the wider (and shorter) V6 was used to replace the I5 from previous generations. The VR6 does not fit in the B5/B5.5 without some modifications as it is a few inches longer than even the 1.8T, let alone the V6. They did make a VR5, but while that was not sold in the US, it was in the Euro Passats.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the detailed explanation Paul. What I was missing is VW's decision to return the Passat to a shared Audi platform.
 

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Yes, that was a great benefit to us all. I don't know why it was done, but economics and crash safety ratings were probably the primary concerns. The B4 was a longer B3 and had terrible crash ratings. VW and Audi in the late 80's early 90's were not in great shape financially, so platform sharing saved a lot of development costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Too bad Passats didn't get the updated V6 3.0 from the B6 A4. How sweet would the 3.0/6M have been in the B55 or even the B6 Passat.
 
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