The new super VW Golf GTI Roadster is here!

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Worthersee has never been home to the gentlest outpouring of subtlety, but even by its standards this is something different: it’s a Volkswagen Golf GTI that’s quicker than a Ferrari FF.

You saw it last week as a teaser, now here’s the real thing. It’s Volkswagen’s take on Gran Turismo’s ‘Vision GT’ series – following in the footsteps of BMW’s and Mercedes’ efforts – and follows up last year’s ‘Design Vision GTI’ concept we drove in LA. But rather than just leave it as a digital offering for the gaming community, VW decided to make a proper one.

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And the headline of course, is that engine. It’s a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6 TSI (out of the Touareg) producing a whopping 500bhp and 413lb ft of torque, complete with a seven speed DSG gearbox and VW’s ‘4MOTION’ all-wheel-drive system.

Because it only has to propel a kerbweight of 1420kg, the GTI Roadster is capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds (an FF will do it in 3.7s), and top out at 192mph. Better wear a helmet, because you may have noticed there is no roof.

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As with the Design Vision concept we saw last year, this GTI Roadster shows a glimpse of where the road-going GTI’s design will venture in the future. This being a concept car of course, means it’s shorter, lower and wider than both the road car and last year’s DV concept.

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It’s been optimised for aero, this GTI Roadster, with that monster rear wing creating lots of downforce, while the C-pillars have been formed into a rollover protection bar. Another schoolboy-cool element is the doors that swivel upwards to open, framed by huge side sills and flanked by flared wheel arches.

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There are 20in wheels. There are monster 380mm ceramic discs up front (356mm at the back). There are LED daytime running lights. There is a carbon monocoque interior with two ‘race-shell’ seats partitioned by a central bar. The instrument display is on a V-shaped wing on top of the steering column, itself longer, like a racing car.

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“When Sony asked us if we would develop a Vision GT vehicle exclusively for the game to mark the 15th anniversary of Gran Turismo we didn’t hesitate for a moment,” said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen. And for good reason: GT creator Kazunori Yamauchi used to own a Golf GTI, so he’s a fan.

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