The original early 1980s Thunder Bunny was created by an enthusiast, Bill Neumann, in an attempt to demonstrate that, with the right accessories, the VW Rabbit could easily generate stunning performance numbers. The little Rabbit put Bill’s products, sold under the brand name Neuspeed, on the map. To this day, Neuspeed remains a one of the country’s best-respected tuning companies, and for SEMA 2006, Neuspeed and the Volkswagen Design Center California have teamed up to create a new Thunder Bunny.
This Thunder Bunny features a larger central grille and more muscular rear valance featuring a R32-style center exhaust. It has nineteen-inch, gold-painted wheels with oversized Brembo four-piston calipers. A Bilstein coil-over system and Neuspeed sway bars keep it from leaning in the corners.
The biggest news is under the hood, though. A Neuspeed-designed turbo system breathes new life into the 2.5-liter inline-five, resulting in 225 horsepower–a 75 horsepower boost from stock.
Though the Thunder Bunny resulted in VW bringing the original GTI to America, we’re not expecting this car to change much. That’s not such a bad thing, though, because there’s not much else the GTI needs these days.