Every year since 1981, aficionados of the Wolfsburg brand have converged on the Wörthersee, a lake in southern Austria, to celebrate all things Volkswagen in what has morphed into the largest event of its kind in Europe.
Known as the “GTI Meeting at Wörthersee,” this year’s soiree that began earlier this week and stretches through Saturday features special models ranging from the Golf GTI Design Study to a unique vehicle from the German manufacturer representing “the first time Volkswagen apprentices have designed a cabriolet for the GTI Festival at the Wörthersee Lake in Austria and it is the first ever collaboration between junior talents from Wolfsburg and Osnabrück.”
Despite the fact that most of us on this side of the pond will never have the chance to see, much less drive, any of them, we thought it might be kind of cool to check out just what visitors to the village of Reifnitz on the shores of the Wörthersee will get to experience this year.
Fans of the hot hatch will get a close-up look at the latest over-the-top version. Back in 2007 VW took a Golf MkV and dropped in a 6-liter, twin-turbocharged, 650-horsepower W12 behind the driver to create the ultimate GTI.
This year, veedub came up with something just as potent. Led by VW head of design Klaus Bischoff, the body of the Design Vision GTI features exaggerated C-pillars and side sills that allow room for 20-inch wheels (235 tires in front, 275 tires in back).
With a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter VR6 under the hood producing 503 horsepower and a maximum of 413 lb.-ft. of torque between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm, performance is equally aggressive: a top speed of 186 miles per hour and naught to 62 in 3.9 seconds.
An all-wheel-drive system along with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG) puts all this power to the pavement while ceramic brake discs at all for corners bring it to a halt.
According to Bischoff, “We put our claim to be a global player on a new basis with the DNA of our universal design idiom. A design that visualizes the brand’s identity without a doubt is binding for all models that carry the VW logo. Thus each model is recognized as a true Volkswagen by its distinctive design.” That also applies to extreme sporty cars like the “Design Vision GTI.” Result: The concept car makes such a natural and obvious impression as if it could go into production tomorrow. Klaus Bischoff again: “We wanted to bring out the design elements of the GTI as concisely, dynamically and emotionally as we could so as to get to the heart of the fascination that this car emanates.”
Golf GTI Cabrio Austria concept
The Golf GTI Cabrio Austria represents not only first that Volkswagen apprentices have designed a GTI droptop for the Austrian festival (the other five were hardtops), but also the first-ever collaboration between apprentices from both Wolfsburg and Osnabrück.
Thirteen of them in all, four women and nine men between the ages of 17 and 23, took part in the collaboration, converting a stock GTI into a 2-seater in what VW calls a “red-white-red” color scheme honoring the national colors of Austria.
Changes include a custom Onyx White pearl exterior paint with contracting red mirrors and brake calipers. Inside, the rear seat was swapped for a 2,250-watt, 11-speaker sound system, black-red-white Recaro sports seats with red “Austria” embroidering, red seat belts and a red DSG gearbox boot.
Scirocco Million concept
Unlike the other two, this one you can get – that is, if you live in Germany or China. According to Volkswagen, production will begin as early as the end of this month on the Scirocco Million that commemorates over one million total Sciroccos spanning three generations.
Million exterior: The production version will be available only in “Deep Black Metallic” (the Wörthersee concept car is “Oryx White”) but will come with the concept’s accent strip and exterior rear mirror caps painted in “Galvanic Grey”, “Interlagos” 18-inch alloy wheels with 235/40 tires, (Chinese buyers get “Spa” 17-inch wheels), while 19-inch “Lugano” alloy wheels will be available as an option.
Other standard features include R-Line bumpers, R-Line side sills, smoked tail lights, “Million” stickers on the fenders along with rear windows that are 90% smoked (in China it will be 65 per cent).
Million interior: All Million models will feature standard black leather seats, parking brake lever and gear lever boot with contrasting “Snap Orange” seams.
Floor mats with color-contrasting chain-stitch seams, stainless steel pedals, entry plates with “Million” lettering and the accent strips made of brushed aluminum will also be standard.
Million engines: Five different engines, three gasoline and two diesel, will be available. The TSI gasoline engines are rated at 120, 158 and 207 horsepower, while the TDI diesel engines develop 138 and 175 horsepower. With the exception of the 120 hp TSI, all engines can be combined with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG).
The base price of the Scirocco Million will be € 27,325 ($35,397) in Germany.