Dubbers, you need to hear this: Legendary VW tuner HPA Motorsports is doing an extremely limited run of turbo VR6-swapped Mk7.5 VW Golf Rs. Only 50 of the cars will be made, and HPA will utilize its expertise and engineering to make them some of the best Golfs money can buy.
For the nerds in the front, this is no normal VR6 swap. Instead of the more common 3.2-liter VR6 from the Mk5 Golf R32, or the 3.6-liter VR6 from VW’s SUVs, HPA imported several crates of Chinese-market 2.5-liter VR6s, engine code DDKA. According to Carbuzz, HPA chose the 2.5-liter because it's lighter than the 3.6-liter and has the rare distinction of being the only factory-turbocharged VR6 engine. Thus, it’s already built for boost, rather than naturally aspirated power.
HPA calls the package VR550T, denoting its 550 horsepower on pump gas, and they say it will work like factory. The requirements to get one of 50 VR550Ts are specific but not impossible. One, you need a 2018-2019 Golf R. Two, it needs to be a DSG-equipped car. With that baseline, HPA gives the DDKA engine a larger turbo, more aggressive camshafts, a custom head with uprated valves, as well as exhaust, intake, downpipe, intercooler, and fueling upgrades. Also, the direct-shift gearbox gets tougher clutch packs to handle the extra torque.
But what really makes the difference is HPA's software. They integrate everything into the Golf R as if it were from Volkswagen proper, including making the CAN bus play nice with the engine and transmission. Even the factory engine and gearbox protection protocols remain, making the ownership of the VR550T painless and easy.
The only painful part is the $40,000 conversion cost, which doesn’t include the donor Golf R. But for what you’re getting, it’s one of the coolest, cleanest swaps ever, and HPA’s reputation means that if they say it works like factory, you can be absolutely sure it does. Even if you don’t want to convert a Golf R, HPA plans to sell the VR550T as a crate engine, though the company hasn’t named a price yet.
I won’t say it’s a bargain, but if I had $80,000 to spend, I’d consider it. Or maybe that’s just the Dubber in me speaking.
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