It’s the return of the Volkswagen GTI’s big annual meet in Austria, where more than 200,000 fans gather to celebrate what is arguably the most influential sporty car of all time.
Once again this year, a number of prototypes and special concepts are making their world debut. Here’s an overview.
Golf GTI First Decade
This is the first GTI that features an electric drive system. Developed by engineering apprentices in Germany, it combines a 402-hp gasoline engine driving the front wheels with a 16-hp electric motor driving the rear wheels. The car can be operated conventionally (front-wheel drive), in purely electric mode (rear-wheel drive) and in combined mode (all-wheel drive). The GTI First Decade also stands out with a triple-tone exterior (inspired by the varied colours of Lake Wörthersee), a Clubsport rear spoiler, 20” wheels, hand-made sports seats, plus an out-of-this-world 1,960W stereo with 11 loudspeakers and a subwoofer in place of the rear seats and cargo area.
Golf GTE Estate impulsE
Here we have a hybrid wagon whose 16.8kWh battery doubles the electric range of the production model sold in Europe. Particularly eye-catching are the five-tone body, ventilation slats on the hood, animated ambient lighting and indirectly lit panoramic sunroof.
Paying tribute to the original 1976 GTI with its dimensions and colour scheme (including the famous red line on the grille), this near-production prototype of Europe’s popular city car also weighs a mere 997 kilograms. It generates 108 horsepower along with 147 lb-ft of torque.
Golf GTE Performance Concept
Another one that uses a hybrid system to produce up to 268 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. Its 50-kilometre EV range is just the start of a performance story that promises to be quite entertaining. Meanwhile, the Electric White Mother of Pearl Effect body contrasts with the black roof, blue-and-black 19” Pretoria wheels and various blue trim pieces such as the blue badges replacing the red ones. Oh, and the perforated brake discs measure a whopping 17”!