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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.