VW's 2019 'enthusiast fleet' brings style and substance to SoWo gathering
There's two concepts you've seen before, but the rest are all new.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
takes a collection of its cars and modifies them for the Southern Wörthersee show in the US, which is a Stateside analogue to the actual Wörthersee car show in Europe. This year, the concepts are just as interesting as in years past, so long as you like aftermarket wheels and a whole lot of low.
This year, Volkswagen will bring seven different concepts to SoWo. These concepts are a good representation of what a little bit of ingenuity (and more than a little bit of money) can do to spruce up the car in your driveway. Let's take a closer look at each concept.
Dig into the aftermarket with VW's 2019 SoWo concept fleet
This concept throws it all the way back to late last year. The Arteon R-Line SEMA concept first debuted at the SEMA show a few months ago, and it was sort of previewed in a similar concept for last year's SoWo, but it's been given a couple mild updates since then to keep it fresh.
The Arteon R-Line gets gussied up with a paint protection film, a three-inch drop on H&R coilovers and a set of 21-inch Vossen wheels. Since the show, VW has added a custom valence kit, aluminum (?) floor mats and a pair of honkin' 15-inch front brakes. No wonder the wheels are so large -- otherwise, those brakes would make for a mighty tight fit.
Atlas Basecamp Concept
Along with the Arteon R-Line SEMA Concept, the Atlas Basecamp is the other VW concept that we've already seen. Having made its debut at the
New York Auto Show
, this concept is all about the outdoors. It starts with a matte paint job with new badges and orange accents, with Fifteen52 wheels and all-terrain tires to give it a bit more off-road cred.
The Atlas Basecamp also wears front and rear LED light bars, a roof rack, H&R springs that add 1.5 inches to the ride height and, before it debuted in New York, its own wild Hive EX trailer wearing similar wheels and tires. The Atlas Basecamp will also be at SEMA later this year, if you'll be around Las Vegas in the fall.
If the Alltrack Combi Concept looks familiar, then you must know your VW vehicles, because it's an amalgam of parts from Golf variants located around the world. The front bumper comes from the GTE, a plug-in hybrid
of sorts. The rear spoiler comes from the GTI
Edition, and inside, there's a short shifter from the sporty diesel GTD.
There are some proper aftermarket pieces in there, too. It's lowered on H&R springs, the windows are tinted, there's a LED light bar on the roof and a big ol' Thule cargo box just behind it. The Combi's look is capped off with some 1990s-themed graphics.
Golf GTI Rabbit Confetti Concept
This one is weird, but also straightforward. To celebrate its limited-edition GTI Rabbit variant, Volkswagen modded this Rabbit with a vinyl-wrap livery of multicolored rabbits, "plus a few hidden surprises," as VW puts it. It's an interesting look; I hope you like vibrant cupcakes, because that's what this reminds me of.
The rest of the look comes together thanks to some H&R lowering springs, 19-inch Rotiform wheels with special wheel covers for the front pair, tinted windows and (yet again) a Thule cargo box.
Golf R Spektrum Concept
This one might be the closest VW's concepts come to a regular ol' production vehicle. The point of this concept is to remind potential buyers about VW's Spektrum program. For $2,500, VW will paint your
R in one of 40 available colors, some of which have a special connection to VW Group. Heck, there's even a paint color from the Lamborghini Huracán in there.
This specific concept wears ginster yellow, one of the colors mixed into VW's Golf Harlequin from back in the day. It's rounded off with H&R lowering springs, tinted windows, black accents on the lower rocker panel and 20-inch Vossen wheels.
Jetta GLI Super Touring Concept
The Jetta GLI is about as fresh a car as Volkswagen has, so the modifications to this four-door sports car (no relation to the
marketing tagline) are pretty light.
Super Touring Concept is actually a debut vehicle of sorts, showing off a set of Fifteen52 wheels that are being introduced at the SoWo show. The car also carries KW V3 coilovers, a new spoiler, tinted windows, upgraded brakes and a new exhaust.
Tiguan Adventure Concept
You didn't think one SUV concept was enough for a whole show, did you? In addition to the Atlas Basecamp, VW introduced the Tiguan Adventure Concept for SoWo. Here, VW took a top-trim Tiguan SEL Premium and wrapped the body in topographic-themed vinyl. The wheels and tires were swapped out in favor of 18-inch Rotiform wheels and chunkier all-terrain tires.
It's higher off the ground thanks to a set of H&R raising springs. Accessories abound here, including beefier floor mats, a bumper protection plate, a new rear spoiler, side steps and a Thule kayak carrier with -- you guessed it -- a kayak attached.