Concept R

Volkswagen has today revealed a mid-engined roadster prototype, named Concept R, which will be shown next week at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Combining sharp design, outstanding functionality and innovative technology, the Concept R points to the future of the Volkswagen brand, and hints at a possible involvement in the world of genuine sports cars.

Power for the roadster comes from a 265 PS V6 mid-engine which takes the car from 0 to 62 mph in 5.3 seconds, and on to a limited top speed of 155 mph. Without the governor, top speed would be 167 mph. Peak torque of 258 lbs ft at 2800 rpm is transferred to the road via a six speed direct selection gearbox and rear wheel drive.

The Concept R’s design team, led by Murat Günak and Peter Schreyer, broke new ground for the Volkswagen brand in developing the roadster, demonstrating how a sports car packed with aesthetics and emotion could look in the future. At 4.16 metres long, 1.78 m wide and 1.25 m high, the two-seater is around the same length and width as the Golf hatchback.

There are many interesting design features of the Concept R – but one of the most striking is the way the designers have ‘breathed’ life into the car. When the driver turns on the ignition, the Volkswagen logo, which is generated digitally by a display, begins to pulsate in the so-called OLED screen. When the ignition is activated the pulse stops.

Another highly unusual feature is that the Concept R’s bucket seats do not adjust in any way. Instead, to find the correct position, the driver moves the polished metal information block of the instrument panel, including the steering wheel and pedal cluster back or forth which are activated electrically. And for the first time in a sports car, leather-covered active foam is used which adapts to the body shape of the driver and passenger; meanwhile the hardness of the springs in the seats can be adjusted according to whether a harder or softer ride is desired.

Concept R – Technical data

Length 4163 mm
Width 1778 mm
Height 1250 mm
Front track 1471 mm
Rear track 1250 mm
Engine 3189 cc V6
Max power 265 PS @ 6250 rpm
Max torque 258 lbs ft @2800 rpm
Gearbox Six speed direct selection gearbox (DSG)
Drive Rear wheel drive
Wheels 8.5J x 019 ET 50 with 255/40 R19 tyres
Acceleration 0-62 mph 5.3 seconds
Top speed 155 mph (limited)

Published : 04/09/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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