Volkswagen premieres at largest GTI meet


Volkswagen will be there with several automotive surprises. For example, with the world premiere of the near-production prototype of the 85 kW / 115 PS up! GTI – a car that pays homage to the 110 PS original GTI from 1976. Just ahead of the start of the GTI meet, the latter has yesterday evening scooped a remarkable prize: as part of the publication's annual awards, readers of English motoring magazine Autocar crowned the first Golf GTI the most influential car of all time! Another world premiere at Wörthersee: the Golf GTE Performance Concept. Instead of 150 kW / 204 PS, the plug-in hybrid drive system of this concept car develops a system output of 200 kW / 272 PS. System torque rises from 350 to 450 Nm.

The new up! GTI – externally and internally similar in size to the original GTI – will extend Volkswagen's product range from the start of 2018, carrying on the doctrine of the lightweight, uncomplicated sports car in compact format. It is powered by a turbo engine (TSI) delivering a potent 200 Nm of torque. The benchmarking and performance figures read like those of a Golf GTI I catapulted into the modern era. Weight: 997 kg. Top speed: 197 km/h.

0-100 km/h: 8.8 seconds. Colours: again classic and typical for the GTI – the single colours of tornado red and pure white, plus the metallic colours of dark silver, black pearl and – as a new GTI shade – costa azul (blue). This most powerful up! can be identified by the typical GTI insignia. At the front, for instance, it is the red lateral stripe in the honeycomb-patterned radiator grille. Incorporated above it: the GTI logo. On the sides it is the black double lateral stripes over the wide side sill shrouds, where the new up! draws directly on the original GTI. The 17-inch alloy wheels have also been redesigned. They look particularly snappy within the wheel arches, as the up! GTI has a sports running gear set 15 mm lower. GTI features characterise the rear as well: here these include once again a red stripe and a larger roof spoiler that provides greater downforce on the rear axle and thus optimised handling characteristics. In the interior the typical features include the leather sports steering wheel, a GTI gear lever knob and the legendary 'Clark' seat cover pattern.

With regards to the details of the Golf GTE Performance Concept, one thing is clear: GTE3 has always stood for sustainability and dynamic handling. That is reflected too in the new Wörthersee concept car. While the classic GTI and the semi-electric GTE are based on a similar concept, the drive systems differ and on the GTE all the red GTI insignia are blue. With the new prototype of the Golf GTE Performance Concept, Volkswagen is now presenting an idea of how the Golf GTE, which can drive up to 50 kilometres in all-electric mode, could be further developed.

Externally the Golf GTE Performance Concept painted in Electric White Mother of Pearl Effect draws admiring looks with a black roof, blue elements in silhouette, black wing mirrors, air deflector elements in the front bumper painted in gloss black, side sills in the same gloss colour and blue-and-black 19-inch Pretoria wheels.

To accompany the increased power, Volkswagen provides large 17-inch brakes (discs perforated, callipers in 'GTE blue'), sports running gear and wheel spacers. At the rear features such as the exhaust tailpipes and diffuser of the Golf GTI and the roof edge spoiler of the legendary Golf GTI Clubsport mark out the GTE Performance version. On the inside it is details such as exclusive leather sports seats and a multifunction steering wheel in 'alcantara' with blue '12 o'clock marking', with which the powerful concept car will be appearing at the GTI festival in the Austrian village of Reifnitz.

1 + 2 up! GTI and Golf GTE Performance Concept: these vehicles have not yet gone on sale and therefore Directive 1999/94 EC does not apply.

3 Golf GTE – fuel consumption combined 1.6 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 36 g/km; electricity consumption combined 11.4 kWh/100 km; efficiency class: A+.

This article was created before the introduction of a new test for fuel consumption and CO2 figures. The figures included in the article are based on the outgoing (NEDC) test cycle and you should not use them to compare with other cars, unless they were tested under the same procedures.