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VW Concept R mid-engine roadster 'points to future of Volkswagen brand'

Volkswagen has today revealed a mid-engined roadster prototype, named Concept R, which will be shown next week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. VW says the Concept R “points to the future of the Volkswagen brand, and hints at a possible involvement in the world of genuine sports cars.”

Power comes from a 265 PS V6 mid-engine which takes the car from 0 to 62 mph in 5.3 seconds, and on to a limited top speed of 155 mph. Peak torque of 258 lbs ft at 2,800 rpm is transferred to the road via a six speed direct selection gearbox and rear wheel drive.

At 4.16 metres long, 1.78 m wide and 1.25 m high, the two-seater is around the same length and width as the Golf hatchback.

A striking design feature of the Concept R is the way when the driver turns on the ignition, the Volkswagen logo, which is generated digitally by a display, begins to pulsate in the so-called 'OLED' screen. When the ignition is activated the pulse stops.

Another unusual feature is that the Concept R's bucket seats do not adjust in any way. Instead, to find the correct position, the driver moves the polished metal 'information block' of the instrument panel, including the steering wheel and pedal cluster back or forth - activated electrically. And for the first time in a sports car, leather-covered active foam is used which adapts to the body shape of the driver and passenger; meanwhile the hardness of the springs in the seats can be adjusted.

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