Volkswagen reveals a 500bhp Golf GTI

While some might refer to the Design Vision GTI as bonkers, there’s actually much about Volkswagen’s Wörthersee concept which makes a lot of sense.

Take its 496bhp turbocharged direct injection 3.0-litre V6 engine, with peak torque of 413lb-ft at 4000 rpm. While the company’s 2.0-litre TSI four has become a stalwart of the range, the Design Vision’s V6 can deliver 369lb-ft of torque from as low as 2000 rpm.

That’s enough to propel it from 0 to 62mph in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 186 mph.

Power is channelled via a DSG gearbox to all four wheels, while 20-inch wheels – with 235 tyres at the front and 275s at the rear – make all that traction count.

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The Design Vision GTI concept was penned under the watchful eye of Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen’s Head of Design and is based on the Mk7 GTI, launched in the UK last month.

“The design team’s brief was to give a spectacular glance into the future of the GTI”, said Bischoff.

Using the flexibility allowed by Volkswagen’s MQB platform, the Design Vision GTI is slightly shorter than the production GTI (by 15 mm), 57 mm lower (at 1,385 mm) and 71mm wider (at 1,870 mm). It also sits on a wider track – 1,595 mm at the front and 1,579 at the rear – making for a wide, squat, mean looking hatchback which shows just how extreme an über-Golf should be.

On the outside there’s the usual honeycomb grille, black, red and white colour scheme and horizontal red line details, with a deep front bumper, headlights set back into the bonnet, a trick rear diffuser and twin exhaust tips. The car is being displayed at Wörthersee today, so we’ll have pictures to accompany these sketches later.

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Inside, it’s pure racer, with a minimal designed dashboard and switches angled towards the driver. The rear seats have been removed and replaced with an X-shaped cross member – to improve stiffness – underneath which sits a pair of black racing helmets.

Finishing touches include carbon and alcantara trim, with Porsche Cup style red loop door handles to underpin its race car feel.

As a nod towards VW’s connected car strategy, the Design Vision GTI is fitted with an onboard camera and facility to connect with your friends on social networks. It also comes with on-board telemetry featuring a large display showing the circuit being driven, times achieved and where the car is compared to others on the track.

We’ll hear more about VW’s GTI racing concept during the next few days, and while it demonstrates some radical ideas, it also provides a glimpse into the future of the GTI. And what a great future that looks to be.