2004 VW Concept T: Concept We Forgot
9 June 2017 - motor1
Was it a coupe? Dune buggy? Cabrio? Crossover? All of the above.
Name: Volkswagen Concept T
Debuted: 2004 North American International Auto Show
Specs: V6 engine with 241 horsepower, all-wheel drive, automatic transmission, 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in 6.9 seconds, 144 mph (230 kph) electronically limited top speed
Why We Remember It Now
With automakers nowadays combining all sorts of body styles to create new niches, the Concept T deserves its 15 minutes of fame thanks to its unconventional configuration.
With two wing doors, a removable hardtop, and only two seats, this isn't your ordinary crossover. In fact, VW called it an "off-road coupe" more than 13 years ago when the concept made its debut in Detroit. It also had extremely short overhangs and a detachable rear section granting access to the spare wheel. The generous suspension travel and massive ground clearance gave it true off-road capabilities — also enhanced by the company's proprietary 4Motion setup.
Featuring an unusual body, the Concept T had an almost flat roofline and side mirrors mounted up high on the A-pillars. The absence of conventional wheel arches further demonstrated its off-road prowess by revealing a good chunk of the showcar's suspension bits and bobs. Both headlights and taillights look high-tech even by today's standards, and if you'll look closely, the circular exhaust tips are actually integrated in the rear lights.
VW envisioned the 2004 Concept T with a beefy V6 engine developing 241 horsepower (177 kilowatts) channeled to both axles through a Tiptronic automatic gearbox. The hardware arrangement granted the peculiar vehicle with a 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) run in a more than decent 6.9 seconds en route to a top speed of 144 mph (230 kph), which was actually electronically governed.
The folks from Wolfsburg said back in the day the Concept T would pave the way for a new segment, but unfortunately it never evolved to become a production car. The idea of a racy crossover with off-road chops was rehashed by VW's posh brand Audi through Italdesign about four years ago with the Parcour pictured above, a Gallardo-powered concept on stilts.
Unfortunately, the 550-hp showcar riding on massive 22-inch alloy wheels had the same faith as it never materialized as a road-going model. Not only that, but the concept was actually crashed later the same year during the Goodwood Festival of Speed.