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Volkswagen whips up a 503-hp GTI for the fans

Concept hatchback throws out the back seat, adds twin turbos for a somewhat practical take on the Audi R8.

By Clifford Atiyeh May 10, 2013 2:03PM
On a trip to Boston's Logan airport in an Audi R8, my girlfriend had to ride with her luggage because it wouldn't all fit up front.

What I'd have given to drive her in Volkswagen's Design Vision GTI, a 503-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Golf with an actual boot. It's exactly what Tony Stark would drive to Home Depot on his off days.

This week at Worthersee, the world's largest gathering of GTI fans held in a little Austrian village, Volkswagen debuted this lowered, sliced-up concept that will never see production. Like the hot-rod R32 that graced VW's U.S. showrooms for just two model years (2004 and 2008), the Design Vision GTI has a V6 engine, only it's packed with twin turbochargers. All-wheel drive from the most-powerful production Golf, the top-of-the-line, 256-horsepower Golf R, and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission off the standard 200-horsepower GTI promise 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph.

As for luggage space, the Design Vision GTI wouldn't serve better for airport duty, given the two thick crossmembers replacing the rear seats. It's a necessary sacrifice for added stiffness and handling.

The body, with all manners of louvers, strakes and scoops, is a full 2.2 inches lower and 2.8 inches wider than a regular GTI, and the 20-inch wheels are sculpted like fan blades to whisk away heat from the big carbon-ceramic brake discs. It's based on the redesigned seventh-generation Golf that went on sale in Europe last year (the United States won't see it until mid-2014 at the earliest).

Volkswagen also displayed a slammed pickup concept based on the Amarok, another non-U.S. model, wearing 22-inch rims and racing bucket seats. If you want the real thing, you'll need to move to Australia and buy a Holden.

[Source: VW]
May 11, 2013 1:36PM
Very cool looking car, and idea, except for the recessed looking doors. Why doesn't VW make cool looking cars that people can actually purchase??
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