• Nov 6, 2006
When Volkswagen lampooned the slow and show crowd during the marketing of their new GTI, they took a much-needed swing at the purveyors and consumers of the automotive detritus that makes up most of SEMA. When VW showed up with two of their own tweaked vehicles in Vegas, we couldn't help but imagine the manufacturers of the super-battle-tsunami-ninja-aero body kit scowling at the VW booth right before hocking a loogie onto the hood of the "Thunder Bunny."

Volkswagen's decision to participate in SEMA served a dual purpose -- they could not only gauge interest in offering factory-backed performance accessories, but they're also looking into producing specialized versions of their most popular models.

The aforementioned "Thunder Bunny" is one of the more intriguing production considerations, not only because of the performance, but because it would directly compete with the GTI. Neuspeed developed a turbocharger system for the 'Bunny that produces 225 HP, from the 2.5-liter inline-five and when equipped with the Bilstein coilovers and Brembo brakes is an instant competitor in the sport compact arena.

V-dub's philosophy with tuning seems to be right on par with most potential buyers of the MazdaSpeed3 or Civic Si, namely offering class-leading performance, with a minimum of fanfare. As an example, one VW exec said 17-inch wheels would be chosen over 19- or 20-inch rollers, as the latter compromises handling and drivability. Those kinds of thoughts finding a voice are exactly what we like to hear and we look forward to results.

[Source: Automotive News –Sub. Req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      The "thunder bunny" was ridiculous. No doubt some idiot marketing prick came up with that idea. Every car guy my age (26) I know, knows what a Subaru WRX is, knows about "chipping" a turbocharged car to get more power out of it for relatively low cost, and the difference between a body kit and performance. Real car guys are not going to spend 7k on a custom aftermarket turbo system that voids their warranty. Real car guys don't think neon lights, spoilers and body kits make their car faster (posers do). VW would do well to offer warrantied chip upgrades that boost power to something reasonable and within the engineered limits of the 2.0T engine. And how about a limited slip differential? Car guys know about these things.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "As an example, one VW exec said 17-inch wheels would be chosen over 19- or 20-inch rollers, as the latter compromises handling and drivability. Those kinds of thoughts finding a voice are exactly what we like to hear and we look forward to results."

      WOW HOW INNOVATIVE!

      What, you think the Civic Si and Mazdaspeed 3 come on dubs?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just what I wanted, German Rice.

      At least Japanese Rice tastes good.
      Jones
      • 8 Years Ago
      vw bringing their own private tuning skunkworks is a smart idea. Its like nissan with nismo. If the products retain the warranty, I think its the best option for people who crave mods but dont want to lose their warranty. Just imagine, an aftermarket Turbocharger that retains the original warranty.
      • 8 Years Ago
      very possible, people at APR have been hinting at something in the works with VW that would be offered through dealers for a while now. I'd love to see some sort of TRD type option, especially given the very impressive performance gains vw's after-market offers for limited funds (thanks mostly to their use of power-plants like the 2.0T)
      • 8 Years Ago
      The fact that brought Neuspeed in to turbocharge the 2.5 makes me wonder if they'll consider partnering up to offer an OEM turbo kit. For those who don't want all the luxuries of the GTI/GLI, taking a base Rabbit or Jetta (even Beetle!) and adding a turbo upgrade would be a cost-effective route.

      However, my guess for now is, the "Thunder Bunny" will become an OEM body-kit, just like the Passat at last year's SEMA did.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not a bad idea IF they actually make performance products rather than ugly body kits and wings.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah, John, Sauerkraut's pretty good!

      Oh, and Ted, the point is, it's refreshing to see a car NOT on dubs at SEMA.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #7 I disagree.

      Sauerkraut implies improved performance. If VW ever releases any "tuned" cars they will be body-kit-only painted-brake-caliper wing-sporting ricers.

      VW is all about image. Heck, they're even more interested in guitar-stereo integration than performance and reliability.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm not sure what the point of the post is. Regardless, last year VW showed 3 awesome concepts at SEMA too. None of them came to production. In fact I haven't heard word one about any of them. The R GTI looks to be the most likely to come out but arent' we just going to wait on a R36?

      There's no way the Thunder Bunny happens because like you said why wouldn't someone just get a GTI?
      • 8 Years Ago
      5. Just what I wanted, German Rice.

      C'mon, get your terminology straight... If it's from Germany it's "Kraut". (Plural: Krauters.)

      Sauerkraut in my opinion, tastes much better than rice.

      • 8 Years Ago
      usuck #10 oldgrumpycrybaby