VW Golf 5: 500HP V10 AWD Rocket.

Revving Prototype: 8,200 RPM

As is true of all iterations of the Volkswagen Golf, there were multiple variants of its fifth-generation model; taking pride of place among them being the R32, fitted with a pioneering naturally inspired 3.2L VR6 engine churning out close to 250 horsepower. Interestingly enough, legend tells us that the technicians in Wolfsburg had something far more adventurous half-cooked up. No, we’re not referring to the madcap mid-engined GTI W12-650 concept but to a something even more daring!

In an interview with The Intercooler, Marcos Marques, Project Manager for eFuels at Porsche, disclosed that Volkswagen had once created a fifth-generation 4-wheel drive Golf sporting a V10 motor. Just as all Mk5s sold commercially, the motor was laid out transversely in the front of the car. On the contrary, the Lamborghini Gallardo and Audi R8 had the non-turbocharged V10 located longitudinally, just behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats.

Marques wasn’t involved in the project, yet he believes it was created when the Volkswagen Group was eager to return to Formula 1. He witnessed a running prototype at a clandestine facility in Wolfsburg, and was amazed by its power: “I saw it and I heard it running a few times, and it was quite a crazy car.” The engine had an output of approximately 500 horsepower and revved up to 8,200 rpm.

Connoisseurs of Volkswagen know that the VR6, V10 and W12 did not signify the last of their creative engine ideas. In April 2014, amidst the Mk7 release, VW presented the R400 concept boasting a 2.0 TSI worth 400 horsepower. Unfortunately, following the scandalous “Dieselgate” affair, this project was shelved. Also, a prototype featuring Audi’s five-cylinder was seen racing around the Nürburgring for a suspected Golf R420; however, that too, ultimately failed to materialize.

Rumors circulating about Audi and its turbocharged 2.5-liter engine have been spiraling for years. It’s even said that Volkswagen had plans to incorporate this powertrain into their own Golf R Mk8; however, the Four Rings abruptly turned them down. The explanation is simple – a five-cylinder Golf R would undoubtedly have eaten away at the profits of the RS3.

Source: The Intercooler (subscription required)

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