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First look: VW goes crazy in Vegas

Fanciful: R GT version of Passat produces a peaky 428kW.

Volkswagen uses the SEMA hot-tuner show in Las Vegas to push its models to the limit

Volkswagen logo11 Nov 2005

A FLIGHT of fancy? A dabble on the dark side? A white knight in wolf’s clothing? Not for high-performance tuning company, Canadian-based HPA Motorsports, which pushed the boundaries between aftermarket performance and original equipment manufacturers at the popular SEMA event.

It used the Las Vegas show to unveil several stunning new concepts based on various Volkswagen models – the Jetta R GT, Passat R GT and Touareg R GT – all transformed from humble cruisers to street-smart boy-racers.

Modest badging on each of these one-offs reveals little of the advanced platforms enriched with mechanical and aftermarket expertise.

The Passat R GT started life as a European-spec Passat 3.2-litre V6 FSI with DSG transmission and 4MOTION all-wheel drive. Applauded as a rewarding motor in its own right, the 3.2-litre engine, DSG gearbox and all-wheel grip, shared with some Audi models, provided an excellent basis for the one-off.

HPA’s mechanical transformation resulted in dynamics that launch the Passat R GT into supercar class – the machine develops 428kW and "massive torque" to match, according to the company.

As well, Volkswagen designers gave the bodywork the muscular look of a stripped down European high-performance sedan.



3 center imageModifications began with a twin-intercooled, twin-turbo conversion with dual exhaust manifolds, each carrying a Garrett GT25R ball-bearing turbocharger.

The Passat R GT’s suspension gains racetrack-ready coil-over springs and the brakes were upgraded to Brembos from the luxury Phaeton limousine.

The sexy sedan rides on high-performance Michelin radials wrapped around forged-aluminum Avus alloys.

Volkswagen’s California design studio chose a gleaming candy white paint to clothe the body, consisting of new front and rear bumper fascias and sills.

Inside, black leather sports seats are set off by white piano lacquer trim.

Of course, befitting a car that can blitz cross Europe in hours, there’s a high-quality sound system and satellite navigation system.

Getting lost has never been so much fun.

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