VW wows festival crowd with super GTI concept

LONDON, May 11 — The Design Vision GTI is based on a standard Volkswagen Golf and was built specifically for the marque’s biggest fans at their yearly gathering.

Every year in May, 150,000 of the Volkswagen Golf GTI’s biggest and most committed fans descend upon the Austrian city of Reifinitz for the Wörthersee Treffen (this year, running May 8-11), a festival whose sole purpose is to celebrate the iconic small hatchback and everything and everyone associated with it. 

The Design Vision GTI concept has a top speed of 300km/h. — Picture courtesy of VolkswagenThe Design Vision GTI concept has a top speed of 300km/h. — Picture courtesy of VolkswagenAnd every year, Volkswagen shows its appreciation to its most hardcore devotees with a special concept version of the car, specifically for its most ardent followers. This year is no exception.

The Design Vision GTI, based on the latest iteration of the Golf GTI, is focused on performance and in particular, racing. Doing away with the standard edition’s turbocharged four-cylinder 230bph engine in favour of a 3.0-litre V6 force-fed by a brace of turbo chargers — an engine much more at home in a flagship Porsche than in a small family car — the Design Vision GTI can go from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds, pumps out 503bph (that’s Ferrari territory!) and can hit a top speed of 300km/h.

Understandably one or two “subtle” design changes have been required to accommodate this 100 per cent power increase. Most notably the car is wider, shorter and lower, and has huge 20-inch wheels to ensure grip at the limit. It also uses permanent four-wheel drive and does away with the rear seats altogether, making it less practical for the school run than a standard GTI.

However, most impressive of all is that the Design Vision is a real car. Initially the concept vehicles that VW’s designers created for the event were little more than shells to whet fans’ appetites. But in recent years, despite the huge expense and the 12-month deadline, Volkswagen’s best and brightest have managed to conceive, develop and build a “working” concept for each year’s Wörthersee Treffen, and 2013 is no exception. — AFP-Relaxnews



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