Teased earlier this week, the wraps have now officially come off the trick Volkswagen Design Vision GTI Concept.
Hottest of the one-offs being presented during the annual gathering of VW fans at Lake Worthersee in Reifnitz, Austria, this outrageous competition-themed road rager matches ultra-aggressive looks with equally extreme performance and handling capabilities. Based on the same "MQB" modular platform architecture that underpins the current Golf VII/GTI production models, the Design Vision was created to offer "a spectacular glance into the future of the GTI." One look, and it's clear that mission has been fully accomplished.
Finished in a traditional GTI white/black/red color scheme, the Design Vision is 2.2-inches lower than a baseline GTI and marginally shorter, but 2.8-inches wider to accommodate its unique side-body/C-pillar treatment, boldly-flared fenders and wider track dimensions. The front/rear fascias on the Design Vision GTI display an equally dramatic character, adding their own assortment of high-profile cues while still maintaining a direct link with the baseline styling heritage.
At each corner, staggered-width 20-inch alloy wheels with a unique spoke design to extract heat from the car's huge carbon-ceramic brakes are wrapped in sticky performance tires - 235/35s up front and 275/30 rubber in the rear. While custom center caps on these rims hide the lug nuts to merely simulate the look of a real center-lock racing wheel, the Design Vision GTI does feature a comprehensively retuned and fully track-ready sport suspension.
The exhilarating heart of this exercise in GTI ultra-think is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged/direct-injected V6 that makes 496 horsepower. While its 413 lb-ft of peak torque happens at 4,000 rpm, a stout 396 lb-ft is on hand at just half that rev count. Backed by a 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, it ships power to the pavement via a high-performance all-wheel drive system and can send this stunning one-off streaking from 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 186 mph, according to Volkswagen.
Rounding out its competition-bred character with a dose of comfort and civility, the driver-centric cabin of the Design Vision GTI features a combination of carbon fiber, Alcantara and fine Nappa leather. It offers seats for two - the rear bench has been jettisoned in favor of a structure-stiffening X-shaped crossmember - in the form of deeply bolstered sport buckets.
In addition to a thick-rimmed multifunction steering wheel with ergonomically contoured shifter paddles, the Design Vision GTI employs a "reduced design" approach to command and control layouts that minimizes the potential for driver distraction and ensures quick, positive access to everything from the traditional climate control and hazard-light switchgear to its racing-derived push-button fire extinguisher and master electric kill switch. To accommodate various types of driving demands, the Design Vision GTI features selectable Street/Sport/Track modes and a fully switchable ESP stability control. It also has a center dash display that can present a track diagram and show/share lap times and other info with other vehicles on the circuit. The final bit of "share-ware" consists of an on-board camera mounted in the A-pillar that can capture the action ahead of or inside of the car.
Although the Design Vision GTI is far too dramatic a departure from the real world to ever see a showroom in its current state, it will be interesting to see how much of the thinking behind this concept actually does transfer over into vehicles like the next-gen GTI or the upcoming and even-more-potent Golf R model - not to mention where hard parts like its hot twin-turbo V6 end up.
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