SEMA 2022: Volkswagen Brings Basecamp SUVs, Custom ID.4s, and a (Brief) History of Golf
Volkswagen will have no less than nine cars in Las Vegas this week.
Volkswagen has announced its entire lineup for the 2022 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. The automaker stepped in when others backed out, and it’s going all-in with a whopping nine vehicles—and a 10th debuting when the show opens.
The lineup covers the gamut, from traditional performance models to rugged outdoorsy types. There are even a few classic models peppered in, including a rare prototype Golf meant for the World Rally Championship.
Heading to Basecamp
Volkswagen continues to explore more off-road-oriented builds of its SUVs with the Atlas Basecamp Camping and Taos Basecamp Active concepts. The Atlas uses an SEL 3.6 4Motion model as its, uh, base, and then adds the Basecamp accessories already available. From there, it features an H&R raised suspension with coilovers and Trak wheel spacers, hooked up to 17-inch fifteen52 wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires. A Thule roof basket and VW Accessories cross bar give the Atlas added exterior carrying capability. Inside, there’s a prototype air pump in the trunk, plus a digital rearview mirror, console safe, easy-clean floor liners, tablet holder, and more. The whole look is finished up with a contrasting wrap and hood deflector.
The Taos Basecamp Active concept is the plucky little brother to the larger Atlas. It features a similar look outside, with slightly narrower versions of the 17-inch fifteen52 wheels. Also like the Atlas, the Taos uses H&R springs, with Trak wheel spacers. In fact, you’ll find a lot of carryover inside, too: the digital mirror, tablet holder, floor liners, and first aid kit are all present in the Taos as well. The littler SUV gains a custom cargo divider however, along with additional tailgate flood lighting.SEE ALSO: Nissan Pathfinder vs Volkswagen Atlas Comparison
A trio of Volkswagen ID.4s will take pride of place at Booth #10509. The Accessories Concept build off the initial 2021 ID.4 1st Edition, adding a Thule Canyon Basket and an Apex XT hitch-mounted bike rack. The 18-inch wheels now come wrapped in all-terrain tires, and are pushed further out via H&R Trak+ wheel spacers. A full complement of interior upgrades includes VW’s digital mirror, a spare tire kit, all-season floor mats, and a rear seat cover.
The second ID.4 is one we got a brief taste of when driving the 2023 model last month. In collaboration with the Tennessee Valley Authority, the ID.4 EV Drone Command Concept is built to “TVA test drivers for a number of real-world response scenarios.” It features the usual complement of off-roading equipment, along with a colorful graphics package. A Thule Caprock platform roof rack makes for a mobile landing zone for the drone, which gets a custom storage unit in the trunk—along with a portable power station. A retractable side awning is also part of the build.
Last but not least, VW has brought along the same ID.4 that recently competed in the Rebelle Rally.SEE ALSO: 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 First Drive Review: Locally Sourced, Base is Ace
GTI, 20 Years of Golf R, and a Forgotten WRC Concept
For those looking for more traditional on-road performance, VW has a quartet of hatches showcasing just that. The GTI Accessories Concept does what it says on the tin, outfitting the evergreen hot hatch with Oettinger front and rear bumpers, plus a larger rear spoiler. 20-inch wheels hide 14.6-inch cross-drilled brakes in front, clamped by eight-piston calipers (yes, eight). A set of H&R coilovers lower the whole hatchback, making it easier to access the matching roof box. Other VW accessories include “floating” wheel caps and dynamic turn signals, plus additional interior protection.
It was 20 years ago that the first Golf R32 debuted in Europe (North America would have to wait until 2004). To celebrate, VW has brought the original and the current R. The former was a rarity, with just 5,000 of the VR6-equipped hatchbacks making it to the US. It made 240 hp and 235 lb-ft back then, putting it about on par with today’s GTI. Today’s car adds 75 hp and 60 lb-ft of torque.
Going further back in time, Volkswagen has unearthed the rare Golf A59 Prototype. This all-wheel drive, three-door hatchback was meant to take on the 1994 World Rally Championship, and got mighty close to production. This is the only complete version that exists. Out went VW’s production 1,984-cc four-cylinder, with a square bore 1,998-cc engine in its place. With a big Garrett turbo helping it breathe, it produced a stout 275 horsepower and 273 lb-ft; huge numbers for the early ’90s. A six-speed manual sent that power to all four wheels via an AWD system with an electronically-controlled center differential. Front struts and a rear multi-link setup sits under the wider body. 16-inch Speedline wheels, wrapped in 225/45R tires, cover large Brembo cross-drilled discs. The wider body used parts made out of carbon fiber and kevlar, including the unique hood and rear hatch spoiler. Recaro seats, an integrated roll bar, and a digital dashboard made sure the A59 meant business.
Sadly, the financials didn’t make sense, so the world never saw the proposed 2,500-unit run.
In addition to all the above, VW will be debuting a new Jetta concept at the start of the show. SEMA takes place from today through November 4.
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Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.
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