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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.


Every year, Volkswagen 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.

Arteon R-Line SEMA Concept

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.

A little Arteon goes a long way.


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.

I will never complain about having to see more of this bulky boy.


Golf Alltrack Combi Concept

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 GTI of sorts. The rear spoiler comes from the GTI Rabbit 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.

I think those pink graphics are the bee's knees.


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.

Is "funfetti" trademarked? VW should have gone with funfetti.


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 new Golf 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.

I'm a fan of the neon purple, but this yellow is pretty gnarly, too.


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 Nissan marketing tagline) are pretty light.

The GLI 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.

That spoiler does some interesting things to the Jetta's rear end, such as removing it from relative anonymity.


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.

The more VW SUV concepts, the better.