Looking for something sporty but affordable? Volkswagen might have just the car for you though, for now, these six models are just concepts making their debut at two big summer events taking place in Europe and the U.S. this coming weekend.
The German maker has reason to roll out so many show cars in one big blitz. VW is still trying to recover from its diesel emissions scandal and, particularly in the States, it will no longer have those sporty oil-burners to offer anymore.
But even as it shifts gears a bit, focusing more on conventional gas-powered models, it’s determined to show it has plenty to appeal to enthusiasts. Here’s what we’re seeing at both the GTI Meet in Worthersee, Austria, as well as the SOWO: European Experience in Savannah, Georgia.
SOWO features five show cars, including:
The Beetle Post Concept – which starts out as an R-Line trim model customized by BMW rider Alise Post. She lowers its stance with an H&R Springs Street Performance Coilover suspension, 19-inch Mr. Drama Queen wheels, Habanero Orange paint and, as you might expect, mounts for two custom GW bikes.
- The Golf GTI RS Concept – enthusiast Sam Dobbins giving it a bit of a Japanese domestic market look thanks to a Rocket Bunny widebody kit and Vossen wheels. Oh, and to make sure it can serve as a daily driver, Dobbins took pains to eliminate wheel rub. The stripped-down interior gets a polished aluminum floor pans and rae-inspired seats.
The Golf R Heritage Concept serves as an homage to traditional German roots, with a stripe package picking up on the colors of the German flag. The Golf show car also gets shod with Vossen wheels in matte gunmetal and polished anodized silver. The concept has been lowered with H&R springs.
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- The Golf Alltrack Country Concept starts out with the third-generation Golf Country Special sold in Europe only, a model designed for light to medium off-duty driving. Take a stock Alltrack and add two more inches of suspension lift and special all-terrain BFGoodrich tires.
- The Jetta GLI Nardo Concept is what VW calls “something of a stealth performance car” that Nardo builds on with a few key touches, including HRE wheels, that H&R Coilover system and BFGoodrich G-Force tires. Finish it off with Nardo Gey paint to help accent the Jetta’s lines.
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VW is taking a different route for the GTI Meet in Worthersee, shining the spotlight on the normally tame little up! model. Harkening back to the very earliest Golf GTI, the microcar shows what it can do with a little bit of muscle.
The Volkswagen up! GTI is powered by 113 horsepower turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine. With the entire package weighing 997 kilograms, or 2,198 pounds, it will launch from 0 to 100 kmh, or 62.5 mph, in just 8.8 seconds.
VW says it retains the stock up! fuel efficiency by adding features like regenerative braking and Stop-Start technology. It even cleans up its act with a new particulate filter, much like what’s more commonly found on a diesel model.
Add deeper skirts, black sill stripes and a rear spoiler to the stock up!
A production version of the up! GTI is apparently set for market early in 2018 – in Europe, anyway, VW not yet convinced there’s a market for something that small in the States.
As to the concepts at SOWO, they’re just for show, though many of the modifications can be pulled together using widely available aftermarket parts.
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