BBC Autos

Volkswagen Design Vision GTI: 500hp of hatchback fury


Sometimes, just sometimes, car manufacturers put down their Spreadsheet of Global Domination, quiet their thirst for business catchphrases like “market penetration” and have a little playtime at work.

It's the Design Vision GTI, a racing concept penned under the “watchful eye” of VW design chief Klaus Bischoff, designed to show off a) another horrendously powerful über-Golf, and b) how the seventh-generation GTI could translate as a racer. Answer? Very ruddy well.

As we've mentioned more than a few times on these pages, Volkswagen's new chassis Lego set – MQB – allows for much versatility. So this GTI concept sits on the same platform as the new Golf, but is 15mm shorter, 57mm lower and 71mm wider than standard.

Then there's the outside, a body style particularly popular with a certain type of thrusting young gentleman and appropriately steroidal for the Worthersee show. There's a deep, wide front bumper, headlights set back into the bonnet, huge 20in alloy wheels, wide doors, a trick rear splitter/bumper and of course, two tailpipes.

Now, for the bit you've been scanning this page for. Volkswagen has deemed it prudent to fit a very highly modified 3-litre V6 TSI engine up front. It's turbocharged, features direct injection, and produces 500bhp and 413lb-ft of torque between 4,000rpm and 6,000rpm. In fact, at just 2,000rpm, it's already turning over 369 torques. Which is a lot of poweeerrr. Though still not the heady 650bhp offered up by the monster W12 GTI that Jeremy drove on the show a few moons back.

Still, it's enough. With the help of a DSG gearbox and four-wheel-drive, the 0-62mph sprint takes just 3.9 seconds. No word on top speed, but expect it to be Very High.

There's quite a lot of racing intent inside, too. The rear bench has been ripped out and replaced with an X-shaped cross member, underneath which sit a couple of racing helmets. There's carbon, Alcantara, a
“minimum” amount of switchgear and, of course, the familiar red, black and white GTI colour scheme.

Volkswagen has also fitted an onboard camera and the ability to network with your online friends. The display in the console “talks” to other cars on the circuit, working out the state of the race in real time, and you can send your friends your laps, lap times, and even onboard footage of your gurning face shouting “yippeee!” Probably.

This story originally appeared on