The annual cycle of media-intensive major industry auto shows is done, for now; it resumes in Paris in October. Now our focus shifts to the real enthusiast car-show season: summer. So Volkswagen is taking its latest concepts on tour, starting this weekend at SOWO: The European Experience, held on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, Georgia. The automaker is bringing five concept vehicles “inspired by the diverse design tastes of Volkswagen enthusiasts.” Those five are specially modified versions of the Golf R, the Jetta, the Tiguan, the Arteon, and the Atlas.
Let’s start with the Jetta SoCal concept, since the recently redesigned Jetta will be arriving in dealerships this month. The SoCal starts with a Jetta in R-Line trim and adds a variety of accents, notably Mark 2 Jetta-inspired black side graphics that stretch from the rear quarter-panel through the doors. Yellow accents on off-white fifteen52 Formula GT 19-by-8.5-inch wheels match bright yellow mirror caps and fluorescent yellow lines on the gloss-black roof. KW Automotive gave the car its stance by lowering the body three inches with prototype ST XTA coil-overs.
The Golf R Abstract concept brings a familiar name into the mix with ABT Sportsline. The well-known aftermarket manufacturer added side skirts, a stainless-steel exhaust with matte-black chrome four-inch tips, and Mystic Black 20-inch FR design wheels. H&R Springs’ sport spring system drops the car an inch, and a camo wrap was inspired by the Wynwood Art District in Miami, home to ABT’s North American headquarters.
The Tiguan R-Line Aero concept employs another camo wrap. The crossover can be lowered by as much as 4.8 inches, thanks to a 3P air-management system with performance-series front and rear struts courtesy of Air Lift Performance, all while sitting on matte-black powder-coated 20-inch monoblock CCV wheels. A Thule Motion XT Alpine roof carrier and Thule roof rack finish off the look.
The Arteon, an all-new Volkswagen model that will arrive at U.S. dealers later in the year, is the most blatantly yellow with an ultrafluorescent wrap that contrasts against a black roof. Similar to the other cars, the R-Line Arteon is lowered three inches on prototype H&R Springs coil-overs and sits on Vossen Hybrid Forged HF-2 20-by-9.5-inch wheels.
The Atlas is the only one of these concepts that does not incorporate yellow accents or paint anywhere, perhaps because it’s not new, having made its debut at the 2017 SEMA gathering. Done up with the help of Tanner Foust, the Atlas has been reworked with an overlanding theme, including extended fenders, lower-body panel cladding, off-road wheels with chunky tires, light bars, and a roof rack.
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- Volkswagen Arteon: Full News, Reviews, Specs, Pricing, Photos, and More
- Volkswagen Atlas: Full News, Reviews, Specs, Pricing, Photos, and More
The Savannah event is just the first of seven planned appearances for these concepts. The others include 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, California; and Pacific Waterland in Woodburn, Oregon. Let the summer show season begin.
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