Whats with the VR6?

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I've heard often heard people calling the VR6 "revolutionary" or that " it's one of the most original piston engines ever made beside the w8" and all sorts of other praise for it. Whats so signifigant and cool about it? I was under the impression that it was like most other V6 engines, but apparently i was wrong...

posted by  Zalight

The VR6 is an OK engine, but it's not radical really. It's just a very narrow angle V6. Unfortunately, that means it can overheat in the middle of the engine, but only if you're being silly, or tuning the life out of it.

The people who say it is a 'revolutionary' engine are in marketing: they're the same people that will tell you that Volkswagens are really reliable, and that Golfs aren't really dull to look at. Unfortunately, people tend to believe their lies.

posted by  heebee

to know just why the VR6 engine is so praised, u need to know its exact advantages and genius design. everyone thinks its easy to make a narrow angle V6, but its not. just imagine a V6 engine with the cylinders parted by 15 degrees. the whole situation is, they will still share the same cylinder block and head, instead of using 2, like an inline 6. they also use a 7 main bearing crankshaft like an inline 6. their real advantage comes to their compact size. they are only a bit larger than inline 4 engines, and ATLEAST half as wide as a V6. so for a 6 piston engine, this is extremely compact. also, the newer generation VR6, which came out in july of '99 (i believe), its new 24 valve DOHC model was first finally assembled and set into production. because of the pistons being parted by a 15 degree angle, but still shared the same cylinder block and head, u can imagine just how damn hard it was to make that engine into a 24 valve DOHC design (try to make the intake valves be controlled by one camshaft and the exhaust by another and be efficient in weight, friction, and performance).

the W8 really isnt much of a revolutionary engine, mainly cuz its not so well balanced out at all. the W12 is just 2 VR6's mated together side by side with a certain angle between them (i think it was 60-90), the w16 was 2 VR8 engines (still not really into production, but it's being currently produced for next year), and the W18 is just some psycho idea Audi used to have which was pretty stupid. it consisted of 3 inline-6 engines lined up so that one was in the center, one to the right, and one to the left. so there were double V banks, since each inline-6 engine had a V bank next to it, actually, the middle one had 2 next to it, the left and right ones. it was larger than a V12, less efficient than a V12, heavier than a V12, hella more expensive than a V12, so on so on. so the idea was discarded.

posted by  Inygknok

Damn... Thanks for all the info! :thumbs: I never knew any of that about most of those engines, I've never looked much into Volkswagen.

Hey, Ignyknok, it says your from Puerto Rico under location. But your english is excellent. Better then some people that have been speaking it all their life. Did you move to PR or born there or what?

posted by  Zalight

The Vr6 isn't really anything special in my mind. It's power output is best left to being 'qujite pathetic'. 200hp from 2.8L DOHC v6?

Honda's K24 in the TSX - 2.4L DOHC 16v - 200hp
Honda's J30 in the Accord - 3.0L SOHC 24v - 240hp

and just for the good 'ole icing on the cake...

Honda's J32 in the TL - 3.2L SOHC 24v - 270hp

posted by  thunderbird1100

nah, i was born here. ive just spoken english from an early age, and i really dont like spanish anyhow. i just have to speak spanish cuz, duhh, i live in PR.

posted by  Inygknok

The VR6 for what it is isnt very impressive at all. The 3.2 litre R32 golf is far better :thumbs:

posted by  Lukaz

Yeah my local dealership was selling one. I tried to convince them to let me test drive it, but they don't let you drive it until all the paperwork to buy the car is actually signed.

And I could be wrong but doesn't the R32 have a VR6 in it?

posted by  Zalight

yea, that r32 has a souped up version of the VR6 engine. larger bore and stroke, and much higher compression. i think the compression was around 11.6 if im not mistaken.

posted by  Inygknok

It only has 240hp...i think that's pathetic for a high compression performance DOHC 3.2 engine... I'll say this again....

Honda's SOHC 24v 3.0L = 240hp... and thier 3.2 SOHC 24v = 270hp....IN FAMILY SEDANS!! Not to mention the puny 2.0L 1g S2000 engine...240hp.


posted by  thunderbird1100

Having driven a range of Hondas, I can say that the power figures on paper are very far from the whole story.

The Honda engines just don't have any torque further down the rev range. You have to thrash them to go anywhere. A V6, with a fairly flat torque curve, is going to be a lot more relaxed.

I've really enjoyed driving a few quick Hondas (Civic VTi, Civic Type R, S2000, Accord 2.2 somethingorother) because they rev so well, but I wouldn't want to own one: I just don't want to have to rev to 8,000 rpm all the time to get anywhere.

Back to Golfs: the major disadvantage with the R32 is its horrible 4wd system. There's just no feel to it at all.

posted by  heebee

Maybe you haven't heard of Honda's i-Vtec system. It solves the low-end problem. The I-4 Accord and RSX and Civic Si all employ this now. I wouldn't go as far to say you have to thrash the throttle thoguh to get from point A. to point B. though.....In civics, probably, but I'm only a fan of the bigger engined hondas...i-Vtec engines have very nice flat torque curves (whole point of i-Vtec)...the 2.0 K20 and 2.4 K24 are VERY torquey engines for their size...Honda also likes to under-rated their engines horribly now....The Accord's 3.0 is rated at 240hp but hit nearly 210fwhp sometimes...about the same for the TL except more around 230fwhp...the new 2.2 S2000 is still only rated at 240hp but makes nearly 215-220rwhp (the old 2.0 only made 200rwhp and they just kept the rating the same due to the 2.0 not living up to crank hp specs).

posted by  thunderbird1100

I only called it as I found it. Perhaps Honda uses different engines in the USA, but in Europe, all the VTEC Hondas I've driven have been peaky, with poor low-rev torque.

For similar money to a Civic Type R, you can get a Seat Leon Cupra R, which absolutely blows the Civic into the weeds on a cross-country drive.

posted by  heebee

I got screwed, I decided to buy the VR6 gti, went to the dealership, signed everything and was almost out the door when suddenly they turned me down because I dont have enough credit. They put me through the paces and had me staring at paperwork for two hours before they turned me down.

I proceeded to yell at the manager for 15 minutes about all this and how they got my hopes of getting a new car up, and how I thought I would be leaving in my brand new GTI but instead had to get into a hunk of crap again blah blah blah. I yelled so much in fact that in order to calm me down he gave me 50 bucks cash for all the trouble.

I was much happier when I got into my CRX with 50 more dollars and left.

posted by  Zalight

*sigh* so opinionated for such a young person...

The VR6 is special because it's a V6 that BOLTS into the place of a 4 cyl in the VW. While the HP figures are "nothing special" to you, the overall torque curve, flexibility, and driveability certainly should be. Remember, hp is only a derived number, it's torque that does the work. the 200 hp VR6 has 195 lb ft of torque at a very daily driveable 3200 rpm. The TSX you mention has 200 hp, but only 166 lb ft of torque, and it comes in over a thousand rpm higher! Yes, the Accord has 240 hp and 212 lb ft of torque (but that torque is at 5500 rpm! Not much in the way of low end, daily driver ability!), but it does it from more displacement, and a physically much larger and heavier engine (again, the point of the VR6 is to get nearly 3 liters of V6 ability in the space normally reserved for a 4 cyl engine).

Sorry that you can't really figure that out.

posted by  ChrisV

The VR-6 sacrifices power for 'mid-range'...not anything I care about in my book if you're going to make barely ANY power up high. You are basically talking to a wall in that statement and it shows that you dont know much about Hondas to begin with. The driveability of a J30 Accord is probably easier than a VR-6 Jetta or Golf. I've driven it several times and could easily pull from 60mph in 6th gear. The whole ideology behind i-Vtec (the system imposed upon the K24 in the TSX) is for strictly low-midrange torque and having a flatter torque curve. OF COURSE it's going to have less torque and come at a higher rpm..it's a SMALLER engine... 2.4L four compared to a 2.8L six. Common Sense should kick in there and tell you, well, I guess it has more torque because it has MORE DISPLACEMENT AND TWO MORE CYLINDERS. But, I guess that just doesn't seem to knock in sometimes. Call me crazy, but that's what it tells me :screwy:

posted by  thunderbird1100

Didn't you start by arguing that Honda engines were better? Do you not see the link between torque and real-world performance?

posted by  heebee

And yo0ur book is how old? And you have how much experience?

Oh, don't I know it. Yo've proven that you have formed concrete and ironclad opinions on everything without having much, if any, actual experience. A wall that says, "gee, at 17 years old, I already know everything and refuse to learn."

No, I've only been dealing with race versions for a couple decades.

probably? Probably? Love teh way you throw around terms to cover up the fact that all you are is a magazine racer.

Common sense would then tell you that the ability to put two more cylinders and extra displacement in the space that only 4 cyls occupied would MAKE it the reason for it being special. Call me crazy, but that's what it tells me... It doesn't seem to knock into YOU that the point was to HAVE more cylinders and more displacement in less physical space to GET that added torque and driveability of a larger engine without the penalty of actually having a physically larger engine...

posted by  ChrisV

wat chrisv just said is actually VW's own words. the whole primary point of the VR6 was to simply try to cram the biggest engine possible in the smallest amount of space. the VR6 is atleast half as wide as a V6, and is only slightly longer than an inline-4. sure, the VR6 may be somewhat underpowered for some people, but keep in mind a few things. first, it hasnt had that much research cuz its not an old engine design (first one came out in 91 or 92 if im not mistaken). second, its first DOHC design came out in june or july of 99. the list keeps going on and on. so research and advancement isnt on the VR6's side (like the rotary vs piston ordeal). anyhow, even if the accord has more peak power than the VR6, just have a look at their powerbands for instance, VR6 wins hands down. also, the more pistons an engine has, the smoother the operation is due to the better firing. fuel efficiency is something that comes along with research. give the VR6 some time and it will most surely catch up a bit.

also, think about one thing. u say that the VR6 sacrifices up high power to have plenty of power in the low-mid range, and that fact makes it suck just cuz the Accord has power up high. all hondas with v-tec make power up high, and thats the only area where they actually make any real power. think about it. how about AWD cars? after somewhere around 60mph (sometimes a bit later), most of them start giving up cuz its a known fact that AWD isnt good at higher speeds. some thing always gets sacrificed to get a specified performance for an application. i prefer having low-mid power in a very flat and comfortable manner than having POS low-mid nothing with a short lifespan of up-high-rev-the-hell-out-of-the-thing power.

posted by  Inygknok

:sigh: Are you going senial on me now? If you have 'race' experience with Hondas you should know the BASICS on them and the i-Vtec system and your previous statement backed up your LACK of that knowledge. Dont even try and pull the young shit...Not only me dealing with Hondas but also my father (probably quite a bit older than you) has dealt with Hondas ever since the Civic CVCC's (has owned, oh about 8 different Hondas). I've been in a VR6 powered golf before and it wasnt anything to write home about. I dont care if it's 'special' because it can fit in a four banger's place (maybe to you VW owners it's the holy grail but in the real world of engines its mroe of a laughing stock)...if it doesnt make any power, then it sucks if you ask me. Maybe if VW teamed with Honda they could make an engine small AND make some power (not to mention maybe make them a bit more reliable).

Your last statement made me laugh the most, it has what? 190ft-lbs of torque...whilest Hondas ONLY .2L bigger six puts out 22 more ft-lbs (and thats actually underrated) than it (lets not forget the 40+hp advantage). Not to mention the J32 3.2L six while being .4L bigger over the VR6, like the VR6 is to the 2.4L K24, makes 48 more ft-lbs of torque and has the same amount of cylinders (quite a bit wider GAP there if you ask me but doesnt even have the cylidner advantage like the VW did over the K24.... VR6 = 24 ft-lbs advantage over the K24). IF VW had half a brain they would tune the 1.8T to 200hp and 180+ft-lbs and they would have no NEED for the VR6. The 1.8T is an excellent motor, why they even MADE the VR6 is beyond me, I guess they just wanted the SUPERIOR ULTIMATE bragging rights of 'we can fit a narrow angle V-6 in the place of a turbo or N/A I-4'. If you missed that it had a bit of sarcasum in it.

posted by  thunderbird1100

im not sure if ur aware of this but, obviously, engines with larger displacement got more capacity for further power. second, the power for hondas come from solely their vtec and now their new i-vtec systems. in fact, some engines even have a 3 stage vtec system. the VR6 currently has only a system similar to the VVT-i on the intake side (or exhaust side, cant remember), and thats it, while the hondas have a very complex system to increase power. third, take a wild guess from who did Honda get the "i" from? yea, from Toyota's VVT-i, cuz they saw how much more improvement it offered. real pity that Honda had to depend on toyota for the "intelligence" part eh? another company that assisted in giving honda this "idea" was BMW as well. fourth, there are bigger versions of the VR6 engine, just have a look at the R32. i only heard about the VW R32 a few weeks ago and i already bothered checking out some of it specs, even if they dont come to mind atm due to some ppl arguing on msn atm, but ill remember eventually.

posted by  Inygknok

bump for that, a Golf with a VR6 will beat any equaly stock honda off the line anyday. VW's rule

posted by  euro_driver

I just registered to say that, dude, you don't really know what you're talking about. Do you race around all day? If so, fantastic, keep it on the track and what you're saying might make some sense. I sincerely doubt this is true. Numbers, contrary to your belief, don't mean everything. The true test would be to take a honda with your vaunted VTEC or even iVTEC and a VR6 golf or jetta. Drive both for a year and tell me which one was better suited for what you use the car for.

Once again thunderbird, unless you're on the track all day, or pretend in your mind that public roads are the track, you would eat your words. That is, if the mk4 VW didnt fall apart on you...

posted by  Anthrax

This thread got posted elsewhere, and here I am.... I'm obviously biased but I wanted to maybe tie a couple things together for those who hadn't yet. As a VR6 owner - I am rather defensive on stuff like this :thumbs:

-The original 12v VR6 engine is about 13+/- years old. One shouldn't compare it with a Honda design of a couple years ago. Let's compare apples to apples shall we? Early 90's Vs. Early 90's. Anyone here with Honda knowledge, that would not be me, feel free to elaborate.

-Since the VR6 was put into production in the early 90's, and the 1.8T not until the late 90's, one could see how VW chose to make the VR6. :clap:

-Ding-ding! The VR6 has been removed from the MK5 Jetta AND Golf in favor of a 200hp turbo. The VR6 will live on in Passat's, Toureag's and some special edition autos.

-The R32 has a 24v 3.2L VR6 engine, 240 horses.

-There is a 3.6L VR6, though not in economy models like Golfs and Jettas.

I can admire the HP numbers one can get from a 4 cylinder, even the gas mileage, but for my tastes, nothing compares to 200 naturally aspirated horses in a large displacement 6. I don't care if a turbo 4 has better numbers - (on paper)... it's people like me that are glad VW had the engineering know-how to cram that kind of power in the space that was designed for a 4 cylinder.

Sure, I don't like Hondas. (It's not the brand I hate, it's the fans) But I won't knock Honda engineering. Great mileage making great little green cars. Wonderful. I'm excited. :thumbs:

posted by  NHVeeDub

The J series engines have been around since the late 90s, not too long after the original VR-6. Here are the current numbers for USDM J series engines.
3.0L SOHC 24v vtec - 240hp/212tq (Accord)
3.2L SOHC 24v vtec - 270hp/238tq (TL)
3.5L SOHC 24v i-vtec - 300hp/260tq (RL)
Yes, all of those are Naturally Aspirated. In JDM form they have that 3.0L unit making 260hp. Note that 3.5L unit making as much hp an tq as it does, in only SOHC form at that. From what I can find the 3.6L DOHC from VW is rumored to only make 280hp (if that) and I can't find torque specs anywhere.

Honda only had one V-6 engine in the early 90s and that was the C series which powered the NSX and Legend respectively. In NSX guise Honda rated the C30 (3.0L 24v DOHC Vtec V-6) at 270hp and 210tq and in Legend guise they rated the C32a5 (3.2L 24v SOHC non-vtec V-6) at 230hp and 210tq.

I meant to type 'MAKE' instead of 'MADE'. Freudian slip ( :laughing: ). But yes, 7 months ago when i posted last on this they hadn't announced the 2.0T yet. I guess they do have brains at VW. Guess they were listening to me :laughing:.

posted by  thunderbird1100

In VAG(VW Audi group) corporation They have tuned up 1.8t engine to 240 hp in audi TT and it has 290NM of tourqe.

German type of driving is a bit different then what would you see in US, most people drive manual transmission, engines are made for comfort and not for max hp and are made to last. BTW in vw they make engines that they can pack in a lot of cars of diferent types, there are at least 4 brands powerd by vw engines(vw,audi,skoda,seat). Reasarch in europe is directed into disel engines (they represent nearly 50%) And there is no stupid person in VW R&D

vw engine max rpm(up to 5500)
honda engine max rpm(7000+)

The stongest car disel engine on the planet is vw V10TDI, 5000ccm, 313hp, 720NM of tourqe. (fuel consumption 70% of comsumption of gasoline driven car with same hp) Only when you will have the knowladge to build such engine you will have the right so speak of infirriority of vw engeeneers.

Engeneering is a science of compromises.
German made products are made to last. (No mexico isn't german)
Bare in mind that 120mm cannons on american tanks are licence made Reihnmetall cannons
There is no need to construct 300 bhp 1.8l engine for a few jerkoffs in us it just wouldn't pay off.

posted by  MultiJet

I didn't come back here after my last post. Guess I should have. You apaprently only had eyes for one thing: peak numbers. But you failed to look at overall power CURVE and where those numbers are made at. The Accord makes more, but at nearly 2000 rpm higher! That's less flexibility and not as smooth for driving around town. What part about "useable powerband" eludes your grasp, magazine racer?

posted by  ChrisV

What keeps eluding your mind when I keep saying 'I-VTEC' in nearly every post. Read up on it, all your misconceptions will be answered. I-vtec = smoother powerband, more low-mid range (what it was made for).

posted by  thunderbird1100


posted by  jasper02

I believe the VR6 won Popular Science magazine's "Best of What's New" award when it came out. The motor has also been on Wards Ten Best Engines list. Here are a few quotes from some car magazines and an article I scanned from Automobile Magazine.





posted by  914 VR6

And here's a comparison test of a Corrado with a VR6 against a couple of Japanese cars with turbo fours.









posted by  914 VR6

im a sorry lil butt freak who doesnt know what this means
a little detail would work alot!

posted by  Racer14

After having every engine size in the Corrado range,

1.8 16v, 1.8 G60 Supercharged & 2.9 VR6 i have to say that it remains ons of the funnest cars to drive! i love the VR6 engine it seems to demand you to weld you foot on the accelerator!! :mrgreen:

posted by  *Ben*

I am 100% with you mate! a friend had a 2.2 VTEC Honda Prelude when i had my lesser bored 2.8 VR6 Golf and their wasnt alot in it even though the Honda Boasts nearly 200BHP!

posted by  *Ben*

are we leaving out a few cars?
-Acura NSX
-Honda S2000

posted by  Godlaus

thats a bit nasty to the VR6 comparing a NSX to it! i am sure that one is an every day hot hatch and the other is a well super car on a budget! and i was mearley stating the two cars of the same time period! not all the newer cars! though i feel that an R32 would live with an S2000 any day of the week! :wink2:

posted by  *Ben*

what the hell is a vr6?????

posted by  google.com


The S2000 doesn't have the horsepower to pull it through the quarter, but it thrives on short racetracks. It's a budget friendly sports car, after all.

posted by  Godlaus

So authoritive. I shall remember that next time I am toasting marshmellows over the torque flames of an open fire or when I go into a store and ask for a 100 ft-lb light globe. :wink2:

posted by  Wally

Ahh, Wally. My favorite assclown. You need to work less hard at being a smartass, as it simply isn't going to work.

Since we are not talking about units of light, nor units of heat, but discussing the twisting force that the crankshaft imparts on the rest of the drivetrain to make a car move, we are talking about torque.

"On modern day dynamometers horsepower is a calculated value. It's important to remember the dyno measures torque and rpm and then from these calculates horsepower. On the dyno it takes more water flow to the water brake to increase the load on the engine being tested. As the test engine's torque rises more water flow is needed. As the test engine's torque drops less water flow is needed. The dyno's water brake does not respond to Horsepower. Major adjustments to water flow are needed as an engine crosses its torque peak but none are needed as it crosses its horsepower peak. In other words the water flow to the brake during a dyno test follows the engines torque curve and not its horsepower curve. Torque is what twists the tire, prop, or pump. Horsepower helps us understand an amount or quantity of torque. (Torque + time and distance)"


The torque curve is what's important in a street car and lends it flexibility and driveability, and better accelleration when not driving around at the hp peak (most people don't or can't drive around at the hp peak on the street).

posted by  ChrisV

Very good Googleman, but good dynos these days measure tractive effort....absolutely no real world idea. How about you grow up a bit an act your age. You are supposed to set an example not act like a petulant teenager.

posted by  Wally

where do you think the torque comes from? energy doesn't form torque ... chemical potential energy plus electrical energy gives thermal energy, sonic(?)energy and kinetic energy. The kinetic energy CREATES the torque when the moving piston forces the crankshaft around. Power is a measure of how quickly this energy is being produced (ie how much energy is being converted per second).

posted by  windsonian

*sigh*.............. n wat causes those forces to be created? the pressure of air going into the cylinders, the ignition of the air/fuel mix, the vacuum of the engine, etc. etc. etc.

to be completely honest, all of those energies and forces, etc., whatever terms u desire to use, all are caused by the same thing, VACUUM!

yes, its the vacuum caused inside the engine that actually keeps the whole process going (and actually starts it). its just like being in space. the vacuum of space actually causes forces to.......... "happen", for lack of a better term. when u draft behind a truck.... that vortex of air is actually more vacuum! when ur mom (or wife) cleans ur damn room cuz ur too lazy to do it urself..... vacuum!!

so lets all stop being so anal about the diminutive facts that are not being mentioned and stick to wat tunderbird and chrisv are actually trying to get across the table.

wat would u prefer? a car that can accelerate when u demand it to do so and live comfortable? or a car that u need to push the hell out of it just to get on the highway before the big bad Mack truck runs over u and your family?

posted by  Inygknok

You mean pressure? vacuum is just a lack of pressure, and pressure is just force divided by surface area. That force is caused by kinetic energy on a molecular level.

... and we always get anal about diminutive details, it's half the fun in these sort of posts where no-one is really learning anything anyway, so everyone picks on the tiny mistakes everyone else makes. We're all fair game.

posted by  windsonian

vacuum was here first in the universe.... yup, right before everything else. so thats where everything originated, in vacuum... in the vacuum of space.... then pressurized environments were created in order to support some life..... among other things..... so its thanks to vacuum that pressure even began to exist.

posted by  Inygknok

just because vacuum was here before pressure (and that's the whole creation vs evolution debate anyway) doesn't mean it created pressure. I don't believe that vacuum is a force or a source of energy.

posted by  windsonian

this is where i would reply with the whole balance of things, like the yin yang theory....... but sometimes getting through to ppl just isnt necessary.

posted by  Inygknok

just for example though ... you said "cleans ur damn room cuz ur too lazy to do it urself..... vacuum!!" . Don't you need the electric motor to create the vacuum?

posted by  windsonian

not just an electric motor. there are many ways to create a vacuum, then again, so do ya to even create pressure.

posted by  Inygknok

Vacuum means nothing... pressure means nothing... all they do is define a pressure differential. What you are looking for is atmospheric pressure differential. It's all about the pressure differentials. :wink2:

posted by  DodgeRida67

why atmospheric? that would be storms and stuff. Just because you're talking about pressure relative to atmospheric pressure doesn't make it "atmospheric pressure differential".

but you're right, of course, pressure differential is like a source of potential energy. It's much the same as voltage or height (in fact height causes a dP). In fact, pressure and voltage are very analogous (think of water in a pipe and current in a circuit: V=P, I=flow, R=proportional to drag etc..)

posted by  windsonian

That 1/4 mile # on the S2000 is way off... the 00-03 2.0L S2000's run low 14s (we're talking 235-240hp, RWD and under 2800lbs here...see it at the track all the time).

The newer 04-05 S2000's with the 2.2L run a bit quicker mostly due to the slight increase in power (about a 15hp bump and 10tq bump, according to dyno results), the much better gearbox (named to be the best gearbox EVER by some places) and finally the fatter tires. I've seen one 04 S2000 break 13.70s bone stock and do it consistently. Most do run in the 13.80-14.00 range though.

Around any curvy road course the S2000 has the R32's number no doubt.

posted by  thunderbird1100

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