After previewing it in the somewhat OTT Volkswagen Design Vision GTI last May, it looks like VW is serious about reviving its VR6 engine family. Sources from inside the company told US-based site Autoweek that a new narrow-angle six-cylinder engine is indeed under development, for possible use in future high-performance VW models.

Volkswagen’s new head of engine development, Fritz Eichler (the man responsible for Mercedes-AMG’s current powerplants), is said to be overseeing the project. Using a tight 15° angle between the cylinder banks will create a compact six-cylinder engine (smaller than a comparable V6 and significantly shorter than an inline-six design) that’s suitable for transverse mountings.

As in the mad Vision GTI concept car, the new 3.0 litre VR6 will use both direct-injection and a turbocharger, though obviously the outputs will be toned down from the show car’s extravagant 503 PS and 560 Nm of torque. A target figure of around 340 PS to 450 PS has been suggested, slotting the motor above VW’s hottest 2.0 litre turbo engines.

It should be considerably more efficient than the existing naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre VR6 currently in use in the Volkswagen Touareg and Passat CC R-Line. Future incarnations of the two models or perhaps even the production CrossBlue seven-seater/coupe could debut the new engine in the next couple of years.