The unique Volkswagen GX3 concept, which received plenty of adoration at the previous Los Angeles Auto Show, is still nowhere near production. The GX3’s design combines the all-out acceleration of a superbike with the superior cornering ability of a sports car. U.K.’s CAR magazine was given the opportunity to test drive the GX3 concept recently in the Austrian Alps.

Everything about the GX3 excites, from its sticky road-holding and excellent handling to the primal scream of the high-revving four-cylinder. Max power is 125 horsepower while peak torque is 112 pound-feet, with drive transferred to the wheels via a chain rather then a drive shaft. This enables the entire vehicle to weigh just 570 kilograms, providing acceleration figures of 0-62 mph in just 5.7 seconds and pulling up to 1.25 g.

The vehicle is heavily based on the Lotus Elise chassis, with the British performance company providing most of the engineering support and parts for the concept car. The steering system is lifted straight from the Elise and most of the suspension setup is shared with the Lotus as well. The rest of the mechanicals come from VW’s small Golf and Polo cars.

The car was developed by Team Moonraker to ignite interest in the brand after several years of dismal results in North America. Currently, VW in the U.S. is favored more by women–something the German hopes to change. The GX3 if it ever came into production would definitely achieve this. Did we mention that the estimated price is around $15,000? Sadly, VW fears that the vehicle is too unsafe for America’s highway conditions and its incompatibility with the rest of VW’s lineup has put the project on hold–damn.


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