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Volkswagen Thunder Bunny - First Look

It's A Whole New Thunder Bunny

Anthony Gelinas
Nov 13, 2006
0612_ec_02_z+2007_Volkswagen_Thunder_Bunny+rear_rendering Photo 1/2   |   Volkswagen Thunder Bunny - First Look

When Volkswagen decided to bring the Rabbit back into production, they searched through the archives to see what made the Rabbit so popular. In their journey, Neuspeed name came up time and time again. So when it came time to build a concept Rabbit for its debut in the 2006 SEMA show, Neuspeed was the obvious choice as a performance partner. During recent conversations with representatives from the VW camp it was clear that this new Rabbit is not a one off concept, but more of a display of aftermarket parts that will be made readily available to consumers. VW wanted to combine their option-loaded economy base car with performance modifications that could compete with top end luxury cars. They wanted to show that the Rabbit could be transformed into something more than just discount transportation. The new Rabbit concept will be resurrected in the form of a 2007 Rabbit 2-door 2.5L. Its Candy White exterior will be showcased by ghost graphics with a topographical theme, keeping in line with VW's new urban edge design, but with a retro feel.

Exterior & Interior

0612_ec_02_z+2007_Volkswagen_Thunder_Bunny+front_view Photo 2/2   |   Volkswagen Thunder Bunny - First Look

Volkswagen showcases its next evolution in exterior styling with a full body kit comprised of a front bumper, side skirts, rear valance, and roof spoiler. The Rabbit concept will not incorporate the large single frame grill that seems to dominate the current Volkswagen models. The front bumper replacement will utilize a large center opening flanked by matching side openings, giving the vehicle a very aggressive face. The side skirts are simple, straightforward and serve to insure the fluidity of the body line without distracting the eye. The rear bumper has an integrated center diffuser from which a pair of 100mm tail pipes is mounted dead center. This unique center-mounted exhaust design, borrowed from the MK5 R32, adds a distinctive touch normally found only on high-end exotics. Some of the design elements used on the previous generation Rabbit will be kept alive, and, as such, the new Bunny will be fitted with retro-inspired, newly designed one-piece gold anodized 5-spoke mesh wheels in 19x8 inches. The standard Rabbit interior was redecorated in favor of a retro GTI setup with leather sport bolstered seats and centers with checkered tweed. Borrowed from the current GTI line is the 3-spoke leather wrapped flat bottom steering wheel. The interior accents and dash trim are said to be made of unique silver Kevlar, which serves to complement the white faced gauges of the instrument cluster.

Neuspeed's Performance Upgrades
Neuspeed has been developing and testing a bolt-on Garrett GT-series ball bearing turbo kit for the 2.5-liter engine. The Neuspeed kit in a low boost configuration is said to run 6psi and when coupled with a Neuspeed front mounted intercooler, fuel injectors and software will bring the car from 150 to 210 bhp. The Bunny's stock brakes will be replaced with Brembo four-piston calipers and 355mm rotors in the front and MK5 R32 310mm in the rear. A set of Bilstein PSS9 coilovers and Neuspeed front and rear swaybars will give the new Rabbit an aggressive stance and superior handling.

By Anthony Gelinas
55 Articles

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