Concept Cars

VW courts enthusiasts with five aftermarket-modded concepts

From a slammed Arteon to an off-road-ready Atlas, the concepts offer something for everyone.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen enthusiasts are a passionate bunch, and the automaker wants to stoke the fires of their fandom even further by showing off five concept vehicles highlighting aftermarket parts. The modified tastes reflect the "diverse design tastes" of fans, Volkswagen says, and give an idea of how an owner could tweak their own ride. And, hopefully, prompt some new-car sales, too.

The first is the VW Golf R Abstract concept, which was tweaked by tuner ABT Sportsline. It wears a wild wrap job that is apparently inspired by street art near ABT's home in Miami, as well as new new 20-inch wheels and side skirts. An H&R suspension kit drops the all-wheel-drive hatchback an inch lower to the ground, while a quad-tip exhaust for the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine features 4-inch, matte-black tips. The final touch comes inside, where a carbon-fiber steering wheel from BAK Performance sports blue stitching.

2018-volkswagen-golf-r-abstract-concept-17

A street art-inspired wrap job helps this Golf R stand out.

Volkswagen

On the sedan front, tuners fifteen52 took the brand-new 2019 VW Jetta R-Line and give it some hints of the Mark 2 iteration of the compact sedan. Called the SoCal concept, its most notable retro touches are the old-school Jetta decals and pinstripe. Like all of the concepts save the Atlas, fluorescent-yellow accents figure heavily, in this case on the mirrors, in a geometric pattern on the gloss-black and as accents on the new 19-inch wheels. And because no show car would be complete without a lowered ride height, there's a KW Automotive coil-over system to drop the car by 3 inches.

The Volkswagen Arteon R-Line also got the aftermarket treatment in advance of its US arrival later this year. That same fluorescent-yellow color is used to wrap the car's body, contrasting with gloss-black and chrome R-Line trim pieces, while Vossen Wheels provided 20-inch wheels and an H&R suspension slams the car nearly 3 inches lower to the road.

On the crossover front, the Tiguan R-Line Aero concept adds a bit more "sport" to the sport-utility mix. Kiss ground clearance goodbye thanks to an aftermarket air suspension that will drop the crossover by 4.8 inches, and note the matte-black 20-inch Rotiform wheels squeezed under the fenders. A digital-camo wrap covers the outside, while a Thule rack and roof box provide some more cargo capacity atop the Tiguan.

For a very different type of modified SUV, look to the VW Atlas Tanner Foust SEMA concept. Conceived in part by the racing driver-slash-TV-host, it's intended for the types of overlanding expeditions that require a lot more ground clearance. New wheels with burly off-road tires sit below rugged, bolt-on overfenders, and a new front bumper design improves the approach angle for tackling steep inclines. There's a ladder around back to help you clamber up to the roof rack, an LED light bar and plaid seat upholstery that evokes the look of the VW GTI's beloved thrones.

Want to check them out in person? The five concept cars debut this weekend at the SOWO: The European Experience event in Savannah, Georgia. Throughout the rest of the summer, VW fans will be able to see the cars at shows like Euro Hangar in Holland, Michigan; Waterfest in Atco, New Jersey; Wolfsgart in Burlington, Vermont; VAG Fair in York, Pennsylvania; SoCal Big Euro in San Diego; and Pacific Waterland in Woodburn, Oregon.