#TBT: The Vast Color Palette of the Volkswagen Spektrum Program
Published on Thu, Aug 6, 2020
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
The Volkswagen Spektrum Program offered buyers of the 2019 Golf R a multicolored pallet of color options aimed at VW’s passionate fanbase.
Editor’s Note: #ThrowbackThursday is a weekly release by Volkswagen, which covers historic and intriguing aspects of VW over the years. All content and photos are courtesy of Volkswagen. -CM
For the final model year of the 7th-generation Golf R, Volkswagen gave buyers a special option: the Volkswagen Spektrum Program. The program allowed customers to choose from 40 custom order colors, and was more than a last hurrah as the most successful Golf R to date headed into the sunset with model year 2019—it was a nod of acknowledgement aimed directly at Volkswagen’s passionate enthusiast following.
“Volkswagen enjoys a uniquely large enthusiast base across many of its models, and the Golf R is no exception, attracting one of the most loyal and exacting legions of Volkswagen fans,” said Megan Closset, Volkswagen Golf Product Manager, USA.
The VW Spektrum colors had an MSRP of $2,500 and could be custom ordered through many Volkswagen dealers nationwide. Several of the colors were homages to significant Volkswagen vehicles through history. Among them, Mars Red pays tribute to the first hot hatch offered by the brand—the Mk1 Golf GTI—while the popular Ginster Yellow recalls the Mk3 Driver’s Edition GTI from 1997. Also returning from a run on that same car is Jazz Blue Pearl, which also appeared on the Mk4 20th Anniversary GTI. Those very much in the know will also remember Ginster Yellow as one of the four colors on the uniquely-painted Harlequin Golf Mk3.
Viper Green Metallic was by far the most popular VW Spektrum choice, accounting for nearly 17 percent of all special-order colors sold. The bold color first made its debut overseas in 2008 on the Volkswagen Scirocco, and evokes memories of the bold green offerings of sister company Lamborghini. Also handily recognizable as a family color is Nogaro Blue Pearl, a color originally made famous by Audi “S” and “RS” models. The three models photographed are painted Ginster Yellow, Viper Green Metallic, and Sarantos Turquoise. The Viper Green Metallic and Ginster Yellow cars feature dealer-installed Oettinger body kits, consisting of lower body aerodynamics and “Twin Bridge” rear spoilers, and the Viper Green Metallic car wears Oettinger Sport Extensions on its rear spoiler.
The process of custom painting each VW Spektrum Golf R in Wolfsburg, Germany was intensive, involving a roughly one-kilometer trip away from the main factory floor to a specialized building, where each car was hand-sprayed. More than that, after a customer took delivery of a VW Spektrum Golf R, a unique handwritten welcome card from Closset herself was sent that included a personalized note, color swatch, additional “R” logo, and confirmation of the total number produced for the US market.
While the VW Spektrum Golf R vehicles are the rarest of the rare, the Mk7 Golf R was a special car in any trim, offering a unique combination of features. With 288 horsepower (achieved with premium fuel), 280 lb-ft of torque and 4Motion® all-wheel drive packed into an unassuming Golf hatchback body, the R flies under the radar without ostentatious scoops, wings, or ducts to give away its performance potential. The Golf R can be had with either a 6-speed manual or a quick-shifting 7-speed DSG® dual-clutch transmission. DCC® adaptive damping was standard, allowing the driver to quickly adjust the car’s performance attitude on-the-fly. A compact footprint makes the Golf R easy to park and maneuver, and riding on Volkswagen’s award-winning MQB chassis, it is comfortable enough to drive on long trips. Inside, premium features like dual-zone automatic climate control, Volkswagen’s digital cockpit, and heavily bolstered leather seats set the R apart in the range.
The U.S. and Canada together represent the world’s largest market for the high-performance Golf R. The redesigned Mk8 has already been confirmed for the U.S. market, and it promises to be a worthy successor to the Mk7. Importantly, it will still be available with a manual transmission—something the North American market demands for the Golf R. But there could have been no better sendoff for the record-breaking Mk7 than the VW Spektrum program, which gave Volkswagen the extraordinary opportunity to bond with some of its most dedicated enthusiasts.