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VOLKSWAGEN BREAKS TRADITION WITH SIX-CYLINDER MODELS -- AND WINS

 VOLKSWAGEN BREAKS TRADITION WITH SIX-CYLINDER MODELS -- AND WINS
 AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Volkswagen, which used four-cylinder engines to power itself into the position of the world's fourth-largest automaker, unveiled its first six-cylinder engine at Popular Science magazine's "Best of What's New" awards ceremony.
 Volkswagen's innovative VR6 engine, which was honored by Popular Science for its technology, will be available to consumers in both the 1992 Corrado and Passat.
 VW received Popular Science's recognition for one of the year's "greatest achievements in science and technology," as a result of VW's design of a six-cylinder, 170-plus-horsepower engine that fits into virtually the same space as a standard four-cylinder engine.
 This innovation heralds Volkswagen's break with its tradition of offering four-cylinder engines almost exclusively -- and does so with a very non-traditional six-cylinder.
 Unlike standard V6 engines where the cylinder banks are 60 or 90 degrees apart, the VR6 cylinders are set in a zigzag fashion, angled only 15 degrees apart and all under one cylinder head, proving that two heads are not necessarily better than one.
 "Since the first VW was imported to the U.S. in 1947," said Larry Nutson, VW/U.S. Public Relations manager, "there have been significant changes to the product, but our volume models have always been powered by an in-line or flat, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine. A six has never been offered in a VW."
 Until now. The compact size of the VR6 is a radical innovation. It has been in the development process for almost a decade. And for a very fundamental reason.
 "Volkswagen has a solid reputation for building compact, front- wheel-drive cars with transverse-mounted engines," said Nutson, who accepted the Popular Science award. "We wanted to extend that reputation by developing a more powerful, refined engine that could still fit the same space requirements as our transverse four. The Passat in particular was an ideal candidate for this concept."
 The VW Passat has been acclaimed for its voluminous interior space, an accomplishment due, in part, to its relatively short engine compartment. But this compartment prohibited the use of anything larger than a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine.
 Traditional six-cylinder engines would not fit. An in-line six- cylinder is too long to fit transversely; a V6 too wide. Volkswagen's VR6, or "Vee Reihenmotor" ("in-line V") is both short enough and narrow enough to fit under the hood of the Passat and other VW models.
 The Passat GLS with the 2.8-liter, 172-horsepower VR6 engine will be available in the second quarter of 1992; the Karmann-built Corrado SLC with the 2.8-liter, 178-horsepower VR6 engine, will be available in the first quarter.
 Volkswagen's VR6 offers more power, less space. In the words of Popular Science, it is "a marvel of packaging."
 -0- 11/26/91
 /CONTACT: Larry Nutson, 313-340-5054, or Maria Leonhauser, 313-340-5061, both of Volkswagen/ CO: Volkswagen United States ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT


JG -- DE004 -- 7175 11/26/91 09:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 26, 1991
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