Las Vegas 11/01/2005 – Volkswagen of America Inc. today hosted its first display in the 42-year history of the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) annual exhibition of automotive parts and accessories, presenting a trio of ultra-high-performance dream vehicles, two new accessorized sport sedans, plus a glimpse into the future with a race-winning robotic SUV.
When VW began to develop plans for its first official appearance at the SEMA Show, it asked its California-based design studio and HPA to design a trio of cars.
The Jetta R GT began its transformation as a base 2005 model with a 150-horsepower, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. After the combined efforts of Volkswagen Design and HPA, however, it now sports fresh-as-tomorrow bodywork and a powerful drivetrain.
HPA replaced the base 2.5-liter engine with a twin-turbocharged, twin-intercooled, 550-horsepower variant of VW’s 3.2-liter, 240-horsepower six-cylinder V6 that powers the R32. To ensure that every bit of the torque gets to the ground in the most entertaining way possible, HPA fit VW’s highly acclaimed DSG twin-clutch transmission and 4MOTION all-wheel drive, both systems suitably modified by HPA to complement the engine’s bravura performance. A KW FIA GT 3-way coil-over race suspension and WRC-spec Brembo brake system were also installed to help harness the forces unleashed by the twin-turbo V6.
Cloaked with a special smoke gray paint treatment, the revised coachwork includes new front and rear bumper fascias, side rocker panels and bespoke rear spoiler, offset by contrasting graphics and smoked glass treatment. The Jetta R GT’s willingness to run is revealed by the huge Michelin ultra-high-performance tires mounted to the 9.5 x 19-inch custom-built, forged-aluminum, modular Avus alloy wheels. Should the Jetta R GT hit the track, changing to a set of 9.5 x 18-inch mono-block, forged-aluminum DTM-spec Avus wheels is quick and easy with their DTM-style center locks and the AP Racing air jacks incorporated within the Jetta’s framework.
The Jetta R GT’s cockpit is inspired by the needs and desires of the weekend racer. An integrated roll cage, Recaro race buckets, Schroth harnesses and a fuel cell provide the required safety elements for competition, while an F1-style Stack electronic gauge cluster relays operating parameters to the driver quickly and clearly. Black leather, black Alcantara and matt-black carbon fiber styling elements complete the interior’s unashamedly competitive character.