Every year for the past 34, Volkswagen GTI enthusiasts gather on the south shore of Lake Wörthersee in Austria every May to catch a glimpse of what the brightest Volkswagen engineers and designers have in store for their favourite brand.
Visitors who often number in the hundreds of thousands come from all over the world to catch a glimpse of what may be coming down the road or simply to dream about the possibilities. This year, they got a glimpse of two new concepts, as the Golf GTI Clubsport and Golf GTE Sport had their world debuts. Other noteworthy vehicles included a new Scirocco GTS, the apprentice-created GTI Dark Shine and Golf Variant Biturbo, and the city-pickup Skoda Funstar.
The GTE Sport concept is a future-vision carbonfibre-bodied plug-in hybrid that puts out a combined 395 hp to the road via an all-wheel drive system. It can travel up to 50 km on electric power alone, and can reach a reported top speed of 280 km/h, thanks to its lightweight body and enhanced aerodynamics. It also features a newly conceived racing-inspired cockpit.
With exclusive bodywork details and track-worthy downforce, the GTI Clubsport has already been confirmed for production as part of the GTI’s 40th anniversary year celebration. It’s powered by a 261-hp version of the 2.0-litre turbo, with an increase of a further 10 percent at the push of a button (similar to Formula 1’s push to pass feature) making it the most powerful production GTI ever. However, it also has an individualized interior. The car will be available early in 2016.
The Scirocco GTS sports coupe is based on the car introduced last year. Its 217-hp turbocharged engine is based on the GTI’s and pulls the car to 100 km/h in about 6.5 seconds and to a top speed of 246 km/h, reportedly (244, with the dual clutch transmission). The production version features unique 18-inch alloy wheels, standalone bumpers and other individualized bodywork details. The interior can also be extensively personalized.
The two apprentice cars were created by teams of the best young talent Volkswagen recruits. The Dark Shine features a unique two-tone paint job (Daytona Grey Metallic up front; R-Yellow Pearl in the rear) with matching interior trim and stitching. A unique hand-crafted stainless steel exhaust features enlarged tailpipes. The 2.0-litre TSI engine makes 389 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque, with engine mapping and the dual-clutch transmission specially adapted for the one-off car.
Borrowed from the Passat TDI 4Motion (and installed in a Golf for the first time), the Variant Biturbo’s 2.0-litre engine makes 236 hp and 369 lb-ft. of torque, sending it to all four wheels through a dual-clutch automatic. The exterior is Alor blue with wide Deep Black Pearl stripes along the hood and lower bodysides, with matching interior trim and stitching. Among the notable features is an extendable cargo deck to make loading and unloading an easy chore for the wagon.
The Skoda Funstar is a pickup based on the Fabia city car. The wheel wells are filled with 18-inch wheel and tire combinations. It’s painted in steel grey and moon white metallic, with green trim accents and underbody LED green lighting to match. Power comes from a 1.2 direct-injected four-cylinder putting out 120 hp and using a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox.