Volkswagen’s New ‘Enthusiast Fleet’ Concept Cars Bring the Custom Cool
A car to please every flavor of rabid Volkswagen fan.
Did you hear? Diesel is on the way out at Volkswagen, and baby, fun is back in. Perhaps still smarting from all the public relations blows it has taken (and continues to take) over Dieselgate, Volkswagen is bringing back a new version of its "enthusiast vehicle fleet" concept car quintet for a summer-long tour across America. This year, it's three Golfs, a Jetta, and a Beetle that have gone under the knife for a joy transplant, to represent several of the various fiefdoms in the VW-fan kingdom. Which one's your pick?
Golf GTI RS Concept
Rocking a widebody kit, design details from the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and a custom stripped interior, the first of the triplets Golf is certainly the fastest-looking. To create this fat little track monster, Volkswagen teamed up with Vossen Wheels creative director Sam Dobbins, who wants everyone to know he put a lot of work into making sure the wheels don't rub on the new sheetmetal.
Other touches include the Thule roof carrier and a roll cage to accompany those race-inspired front seats. Speaking seats, there's only two—the back seats have been tossed to save weight.
Golf R Heritage Concept
If the Golf GTI RS is the older brother into tasteful modifications, the Golf R Heritage Concept is the bookish middle child obsessed with historical re-enactments. The black paint job with orange, red, and yellow accents recall the German flag, while the big ol' No. 7 on the doors and the white pinstripes along the bottom give it a nice retro flair.
Vossen wheels and lowered H&R Springs complete the package, which honestly isn't much of a departure from stock for a so-called "concept." Then again, VW claims most R owners prefer not to tinker with the factory setup.
Golf Alltrack Country Concept
Rounding out the Golfs is the Alltrack Country Concept, the sports-loving youngest child in the family. Designed to recall the awesome third-generation Golf Country (sold only in Europe, sadly), the Alltrack Country gives the regular Golf Alltrack a boost with a two-inch lift, 15-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, bumper-integrated fog lights, a roof-mounted tent, and extra solar-powered batteries for all the devices a connected adventurer could want.
Honestly, the two-inch lift is how the Golf Alltrack should have been sold in the first place, but the rest of it is pretty nifty. There aren't enough cars sold with integrated tents these days.
Beetle Post Concept
In making what could be the Beetle's swan song, VW partnered with BMX rider Alise Post, who elected to give it a Habanero Orange paint job, custom 19-inch "Mr. Drama Queen" gold wheels from Radi8, an upgraded coilover suspension kit from H&R Springs, and of course, the custom roof-mounted bike rack that appears to be attached with suction cups. Some "vintage" lettering along the base of the doors rounds things out nicely.
Jetta GLI Nardo Concept
Sedans may be also dying, but Volkswagen's doing their best to keep you interested with the Jetta GLI Nardo concept. Like Reese's, or a monkey in a tuxedo, it combines two great things for an even better result—in this case, VW's long-running GLI sport package and Audi's stunning Nardo Grey paint job. Add in another set of H&R coilovers and some high-performance tires, and you've got yourself a pretty decent sleeper.