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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Before the Veyron, VW's supercar dreams hung on this W-12-engined concept

Volkswagen was dreaming of supercars long before it bought the ailing Bugatti firm in 1998. Starting with the Beetle, the German marque had built its reputation on "people's cars." Even its spiciest models, like the Corrado and the Golf GTI, boasted four seats, cargo space, and, in the latter case, a reasonable price.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/before-the-veyron-vws-supercar-dreams-hung-on-this-...
21 REPLIES 21
DaveH
Detailer

I saw the Nardo at the Tokyo show and thought it rather nice except for the badge.
Has to be the most modular engine ever built, with VR and W 5,6,8,12 and 16 cylinder variants.
ACoupeisSuper
Pit Crew

VW may not be my favorite brand, but a garage consisting of this and a W-12 Phaeton would have my attention...
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

It was an interesting car. I remember selecting it in some old test Drive or Need For Speed game back in the day.
Roomer
Pit Crew

Did you win, Gary?
OldFordMan
Advanced Driver

All this high-tech engineering and they couldn't even figure out how to make a little diesel run clean enough to pass emissions LEGALLY?
PRScott
Instructor

Oh, they could make it legal but by making it just a teeny bit dirty the mileage could be as high as 60 miles per gal.(That's a real gallon not a US gallon)
TG
Technician

and it's funny since they took the exact same page out of the playbook the big Diesel engine manufacturers used maybe ten years prior
pitchrollyaw
Pit Crew

Or, they had enough high-tech engineering to almost pull off what they tried to do 🙂 I'll confess, that that effort made me want a VM more...
pitchrollyaw
Pit Crew

VW more...can't edit for some reason
Sajeev
Community Manager
miahshodan
Pit Crew

No mention of the Audi Avus Quattro?
turbojoe62
Intermediate Driver

Such a cool story! Beautiful, interesting and desirable concept/car!
MATTMERICA
Technician

Piech had more to go on than the Bugatti when making the decision on which car(s) to produce and which ones to dump. In 2000 VW released the W8 passat. VW couldn't give them away as people would look at the price (well north of $40k once tags and title were added) and simply say "why would I pay BMW/AUDI/LEXUS money for a vee-dub?" Until he Phaeton came out the W8 was the highest priced car VW ever made.
Boxer69
New Driver

I think I have a factory VW brochure for the yellow one-! 💛
hyperv6
Racer

This may have worked in Europe but not in America. 

VW in America is not seen the same way as in Europe. Too many decades of marketing of the brand being an affordable car. 

This is why the W12 sedan failed here. Slap Audi on it and it would sell at higher prices.

Buzz
Detailer

Excellent article. I’m not a supercar fan but I really have to appreciate the W-Series engine design. Although the body lines definitely scream 1990’s, when you think of the cars considered performance vehicles at the time, the VW has crazy progressive styling. That one piece windshield, roof, rear glass really makes the car. I have to laugh at two things though. The roundness of the top from side view and height of the fenders does smack of the New Beetle. That and we now know where the first 4 door dodge chargers borrowed their taillight covers from.
Graham-Paige
New Driver

plank
Detailer

Interesting article, very good-looking ride even by today's standards in MHO. VW, really? I wonder if they ever imagined this machine when they built my 52 split back window with idiot stick turn signals? Probably not.
kyree-williams
Detailer

It's worth noting that the four-bank W12 and W16 system Volkswagen AG uses is unique to them, and is *only* achievable because of their narrow-angle V6 (VR6) configuration. Most other W engines, including the Bugatti W engines that predated Volkswagen's engineering hand, are three-bank setups.
OLDKREM
New Driver

I enjoyed this article. In a similar vein, Henry Ford considered adding an upside down V8 under another V8, creating an X16 on a common crankshaft. I don't think he did much with the idea though. 

brb
Instructor

Should have built it. Prettier than the Veyron. That one piece windshield on the coupe is amazing.