It's difficult to call the Touareg R GT the "mildest" of the three project cars, considering it has a 500-bhp, 3.2-liter, twin-turbocharged MPI V6 under the hood, but it's the only one of the three R GT projects not to have been fashioned a bespoke body for the SEMA Show. This 2005 Touareg still looks especially stylish, however, due to its factory-offered Volkswagen Individual body kit, 10x22-inch custom-built forged aluminum monoblock Avus wheels and 295/30-22 Michelin Diamaris radials.

The interior sports a VW Individual W12 package with front sport buckets and black leather upholstery with suede centers. Bugatti spun aluminum trim, dual black Apple iPods in the cupholders, and dual black Sony PSPs in the seatbacks give it a distinctive, retro-modern touch. Schroth quick-fit harnesses were also fitted for added security during high-speed autobahn runs or track sessions. Yes, track sessions. We'd love to get the Touareg R GT on the track against the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Jeep Cherokee SRT. The R GT's KW Variant 3 coilovers and Brembo performance brakes certainly would be up to the challenge.

Endgame

What will Project R GT mean after all the hoopla dies down? Do these vehicles represent empty dreams, or do they mark a turning point in Volkswagen's history? We are optimistic. The gulf between the factory's offerings and the desires of the American enthusiast may not have been bridged at this year's SEMA Show, but now at least we are speaking the same language to each other across that rapidly shrinking gap. Finally, listen to the advice Derek Jenkins gave to an appreciative crowd. "Let VW know how you feel about these cars," he said. Scream loudly enough, he hinted, and bits of R GT will soon be showing up on the production line. So start screaming.

By Andrew Walker
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