Yes, Volkswagen also had its range of supercars. What were these prototypes like and why were they so important for brands like Bugatti. The full story below.
What would have become of recent automotive history if volkswagen he would have decided to rub shoulders with the exponent brands of supercars. Sure, competition without the experience of Ferrari, Lamborghini or Bugatti, although it would be a mistake to underestimate his project. On the contrary, his supercar chapter made possible later successes of the aforementioned firms.
The dream of the German giant did not go beyond prototypes created with a central objective: to promote a high-power engine, which was accessed by joining two V-shaped six-cylinder blocks. This is how the W12 And so the saga of Volkswagen concept vehicles was born, a special project that included three models with scissor doors: the W12 Syncrothe W12 Tuberose and the W12 Roadsterthat convertible that is never missing.
Presented at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show, the Syncro inaugurated this stage of experimentation. The bodywork was carried out by Italdesign, which showed off by applying a glass cover on the central W12 5.6 engine with up to 420 horsepower. It was a dynamic design, with the strong fairing of the front wheels and the long rear axle behind which its four exhaust outlets were revealed.
The following year, in Geneva, Volkswagen presented the world with the W12 Roadster Concept, a version that did not change much in relation to its predecessor other than its convertible distinction. However, it stood out for its panoramic windshield attached to the side windows, its roll bars in sight and its engine now hidden by dispensing with the glass cover that characterized the Syncro.
The Nard complete the saga. Presented in Tokyo in 2001, it did not evolve in design as much as in mechanics. His W12, now 6.0, allowed him to reach 600 horsepower, 350 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 in 3.5 seconds, which led him to break up to five world records by covering 7,749 kilometers in 24 consecutive hours during development tests.
Despite only having been a prototype as well, the Nardo came closest to becoming a manufacturing model. One possibility was to take it to a limited edition of 150 copies. However, Volkswagen’s priorities changed because Bugatti, absorbed by the Group in 1998, would soon give life to a new supercar.
The contribution of the Volkswagen W12 to high-end flagship models
Volkswagen W12 Nardo 2001. Source: Journalism of the motor.
Volkswagen W12 Roadster 1998. Source: Engine 1.
The story of the W12 engine in Volkswagen supercars is told in three key chapters. The chronology begins in 1991, when Audi Also in Tokyo, it launched the Avus Quattro, a prototype that, with its W12 and a design similar to that of the skulled supercars in Wolfsburg, set precedents and anticipated what would be seen six years later.
The second key fact is what type of six-cylinder blocks were used, because it was not just any. The chosen one was the VR6, same engineering that was applied to the endearing volkswagen golf. The Syncro-Nardo-Roadster “trilogy” faced two VR6 that were joined through a crankshaft and formed an angle of 72 degrees between them.
But how to explain the success of the Volkswagen W12 if they were models that never knew mass production? Despite having been nothing more than prototypes, the engineering of the W12 of these supercars was transferred by Volkswagen to other Group brands, which applied it to their flagship models. The Bentley Continental and the Audi A8 They enjoyed the brand new engine, not counting the Pheaton sedan and the Touareg SUV, both VW ships.
The Volkswagen W12, necessary for Bugatti and Lamborghini to shine
It is not an exaggeration to interpret that Volkswagen supercars changed the history of the field. With the Nardo 2001 as the latest evolution, the saga inspired models that are now consecrated such as the Lamborghini Huracan 2014. What the Volkswagen Group did with Bugatti, however, was even more momentous.
Just as W12 was used in high-end cars from Audi and Bentley, the same formula fit the Bugatti Veyron 2005. The difference was in the number of cylinders per block: while the W12 logically had six per engine, the French phenomenon set precedents with its W16, two eight cylinders to exceed a thousand horsepower.
The Volkswagen W12 deserved their space. It was a revolutionary commitment that, despite its status as concepts, served as a legacy for other Group manufacturers to contribute historic models to the automotive industry and make possible the dream of supercar production with which Volkswagen had previously flirted. A legend that we had to remember. Did you know about her? Continue reading about this story by clicking on this linkwith Audi as the protagonist.