What are the advantages of using this configuration over an inline 6 or a V6?
Why Does VW use the VR6 configuration?
Would like info on the cylinder layout and it works.
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The VR6 is a 6 cylinder Volkswagen engine which uses a narrow angle Vee formation. The Vee is at just 15 degrees which allows the engine to use a single cylinder head.
It has two camshafts which, in 12v format at least) operate the valves for each bank. Unlike a traditional DOHC, the front cam on this engine operates the inlet and exhaust valves for the front bank of cylinders and the rear cam, the rear bank.
The engine uses a single inlet manifold and a single exhaust manifold.
In the Golf and Corrado to which it was fitted, it's fitted in a transverse orientation driving the front (or all four in 4motion models) wheels with the gearbox on the side of the engine.
Compared to an inline-6, the engine is more compact. The fact the bores are effectively offset mean it fits into the engine bay of an old Golf transversely. Something you certainly couldn't do with an inline-6 of the same capacity.
Compared to a traditional V6, the engine is far narrower and utilises less components. A traditional V6 uses two cylinder heads, two exhaust manifold and sometimes two inlet manifolds. Also, the width of a traditional V6 would make it complex to mount transversely in a small hatchback car.
The reason it's named the VR6 is that it's a V-Motor and a Reihenmotor motor (Reihenmotor being the German word for Inline-Motor) and it's a 6 cylinder. They also produced a 2.3 litre VR5 engine which was essentially a VR6 with one of the end cylinders omitted.
Do you need any more information (I'm somewhat fanatical when it comes to details about early watercooled Volkswagens).