km/h in 3.7 seconds, up to 325 km/h.
30 May 2007.
Forget about conventions. This is
GTI land, where the VW Golf GTI reigns since the early
eighties, with more than 1.67 million car drivers who
have already fallen under its charm.
More than an icon, the Golf GTI has
become a brand in itself. A label of sportiness,
anywhere across the globe.
Since 1982, its greatest fans have
been celebrating it every year at the Wörthersee in
the Austrian state of Kärnten. For this occasion,
Volkswagen has put a Golf on wheels that is like no
other: The GTI W12-650 showcar.
C-pillars were redesigned to route air
to the mid-engine.
No Golf has ever been more
powerful, or wider, or faster. The GTI W12-650 gives
the appearance of having come directly from the
racetrack. A Golf that could be the pace car for the
24 hour race at Le Mans.
W12 cylinders, 650 PS (477 kW at
6,000 rpm), but a showcar, no more, no less. At the
same time it demonstrates the enormous potential that
such a car can offer, with its 6.0-litre bi-turbo
engine, longitudinally mounted directly behind the
driver and front passenger. This transforms the GTI
into a classic mid-engine sports car.
Alcantara covers for the race car
A six-speed automatic transmission
hammers the maximum torque of 750 Newton-meters (at
4,500 rpm) to the rear axle. It catapults the GTI to
100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds. The biturbo propels the
compact beast to 325 km/h, outpacing most other cars
and... some supercars of this world.
Under the broad 1.88 meter
(production Golf: 1.76 meter) width and low 1.42 meter
(production: 1.50 meter) height of its body, engineers
and designers have brought together automotive
technologies not seen in this combination on any other
car. Each component is sourced internally.
bi-turbo W12, mounted behind the front
The chassis components of this
showcar were adapted directly from a super sports car.
Mounted on the front axle are 235 tires in 19-inch
format, while in the rear there are 295 tires. Due to
the gigantic tire dimensions, the brightly machined
“Detroit” GTI alloy wheels are “dished” in the
direction of the wheel hub and are custom built; the
pitch circle with the wheel nuts lies much deeper than
the rim circle.
The axles were “pushed” 70
millimeters further into the body; the wheel well
cutouts and gigantic wheel arches are part of the
shoulder section, as in a coupe. Klaus Bischoff,
Director of Volkswagen Design: “In the rear, the
showcar is 80 millimeters wider on each side. However,
the body of the GTI easily takes this in. We already
have a strong shoulder section here on the production
model. We were able to draw it outward even more
distinctly, like on a sports car.”
the rear, the showcar is 80
millimeters wider on each side.
Bischoff adds: “The strongest
Golf design elements are the C-pillars. But it is
precisely here that we needed air ducts for engine
cooling air. Therefore, the C-pillars were redesigned
on short order to assume this function of routing air
to the engine. In doing so, we simply made the rear
windows turn inward. This created two ducts between
the windows and the C pillars, on the left and right,
through which air flows for engine cooling. We got the
rest of the cooling air in front via the gigantic
radiators and the ducts connected to them, as well as
on the sides via air inlets on the side skirts.”
automatic with rear-wheel drive
The GTI W12-650 carries its wing
internally. The roof is part of an enormous diffuser
that supplies sufficient downforce to the rear axle.
It consists of a carbon-fiber material and directs the
air over and under the rear spoiler to achieve road
The bumpers of the showcar are
powerful and at the same time coherently designed. In
the rear, as in the front, the GTI W12-650 is
characterised by enormous air inlets and outlets. Two
dual chrome-plated tailpipes frame the air outlet in
the rear. At the front of the car, the eye-catching
straight-line grille between the headlamps, with its
red frame, is reminiscent of the first GTI.
Inside, the leather Alcantara
covers for the race car bucket seats are newly
designed. Three round gauges in the middle of the
instrument cluster are also reminiscent of the
original GTI. Details taken from car racing, on the
other hand, include the transparent “flip-up switch
covers” for important functions such as ESP
deactivation. To prevent accidental switch
activations, the transparent covers are “flipped up”
with the index finger before activating the switch
underneath. Another reference to car racing is the
integrated fire extinguisher in place of a glove box.
For weight reasons, the door trim was completely “stripped”;
only screens are used, which quite intentionally offer
a view of the internal workings of the door