Volkswagen Project R-GT by HPA Motorsport
The dream of every high-performance tuner is access to the best, most durable, precise components; intelligent and adaptable control systems; and progressive, appealing styling. It’s the dream of every high-performance tuner to transform that excellence into the extraordinary, to create exhilarating answers to the question, “What if…?”
Volkswagen shares this drive to push the dynamic and aesthetic boundaries of its vehicles. The vast network of engineers and designers within VW’s worldwide reach never need to be urged to challenge conventional wisdom, and this philosophy is reflected not only in the unique character of VW’s production vehicles, it’s also fully displayed in a trio of stunning ultra-high-performance projects built for SEMA 2005 in combination with HPA Motorsports.
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 work on a number of questions:
• What if Volkswagen’s R concept of high performance, so persuasively presented in the athletic R32, could be magnified into "supercar" proportions?
• What if Volkswagen’s rich crop of technology could be distilled into a more potent mixture?
• What if its narrow-angle V6 powerplant, 4MOTION all-wheel drive and DSG dual-clutch transmission were to be blended to blow away the world’s most discerning performance enthusiasts?
• What if Volkswagen’s designers had no other goal except to turn their visions into sculptures of composites and metal?
• And what if an R GT series of vehicles were to be built, to act as dream-makers, as forerunners, perhaps, to a line of factory-bred ultra-high-performance specials?
The answers to those questions might very well be found among an intriguing trio of project vehicles built specially for the SEMA Show. The Jetta R GT, Passat R GT and Touareg R GT are not just flights of fancy branding. The badging on each of these one-offs tells a story of advanced platforms enriched with strategic applications of factory and aftermarket expertise.
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, exquisitely massaged drivetrain that’s as comfortable cruising Pacific Coast Highway as it is smoking the competition at weekend time trials.
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 in the best Q-ship tradition, 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.