Originally conceived as an electronic "creature" for Sony's PlayStation3 classic Gran Turismo 6 (GT6), Volkswagen's cooperation with the Japanese brand gave finally birth to a real... GTI Roadster.
You don't believe in conversions from virtual to real? Well, the carbon fiber sports car concept brought by the German carmaker (Europe's largest) to this year's Woerthersee GTI meeting (28-31 May) in Austria is really tangible.
That's VW's GTI Roadster, Vision Gran Turismo, with its 3.0-litre, 503PS V6 biturbo engine, a 7-speed DSG gearbox and the 4MOTION four-wheel drive system.
DimensionsDrawing on last year’s Woerthersee car, the Design Vision GTI, this year's VW GTI Roadster gets a more extreme design.
Based on the production Golf GTI, VW's GTI Roadster has a 137mm (5.4 inch) shorter wheelbase (at 2,494 mm, 98.2 inch), which is also shorter than year's Design Vision GTI wheelbase.The proportions get even more spectacular with the strong contrasts between height (1,090 mm, 42.9 inch), width (1,894 mm, 74.6 inch) and overall length (4,158 mm, 163.7 inch).
PowerComing to the compact sports monster heart, the 3.0-litre V6 biturbo TSI engine gives the GTI Roadster a maximal output of 503 PS (370 kW, 496 bhp), and maximum torque of 560 Nm (413 lb-ft, 57.12 kg-m) between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm, with 500 Nm (369 lb-ft, 51 kg-m) available from 2,000 rpm.
PerformanceGiven the concept car's curb weight of 1,420 kg (3131 pounds), VW's seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and 4MOTION four-wheel drive system propel this red "bullet" from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 306 km/h (190 mph).
On the opposite side of the speed line, braking power is handled by ceramic brakes with the stability of 8.5 J x 20-inch wheels and 235/35 tyres at the front and 9.5 J x 20'' with 275/30 at the rear.
DesignThe two-seat VW GTI Roadster is the fruit of the collaboration between three young Volkswagen designers, winners of an in-house competition to design a vehicle to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo game.
Relieved from the usual constraints of a production model (production feasibility, cost, price, homologation, legislation and other conditions) designers Malte Hammerbeck, Domen Rucigaj (exterior) and Guillermo Mignot (interior) came up with this proposal, selected by Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand, and Kazunori Yamauchi of Sony Computer Entertainment, the creator of the Gran Turismo series.
The body is painted in Gran Turismo Red, while the radiator grille and the screen over the engine compartment vent are finished in high-gloss black.
FrontThe front end has a three-dimensional shape with a splitter to increase downforce, wedge-shaped air scoop on the hood and dual LED headlights and LED daytime running lights.
The doors swivel up and forward, and their contours are framed by the side skirts, the C-pillar and the flared wheelarches. On the upper door section, the side window forms a line that rises forward with the low-profile windscreen, like a speedboat’s.
On the sides, the illuminated GTI badge is integrated in the "tornado" line.
RearThe carbon blades coming from the front, across the side skirts and into the rear section end up as a wrap-around element, serving as air ducts. The rear diffuser is highlighted by metal slats and two low-slung rear lights.
The trapezoidal dual exhaust tailpipes (with GTI badge) are positioned in the middle, above the diffuser, and the layered look at the back is completed by narrow three-dimensional lights with the spoiler just above.
InteriorThe driver and passenger sit in two race-style buckets, in a dual carbon fiber monocoque. At the height and perspective of a formula race car, they are surrounded by black- and anthracite-coloured sections, contrasted by classic GTI red on the stitching and on the five-point safety harnesses. Between the two seats, an open bar ascends from rear to front, with a fire extinguisher beneath it.
The seats and the four-spoke grip steering wheel are covered with Alcantara and, in typical racing-car style, the cockpit display is fitted far ahead of the driver, on the long, exposed steering column.
The red, illuminated rotary light switch and shift paddles are fitted to the left and right of the steering wheel's central axis, so the driver doesn't need to move hands off the wheel.
Production (?!)VW indicates that while there are no plans for production, players of GT6 will be able to download the virtual GTI Roadster, Vision Gran Turismo for PS3 from mid-June 2014, in another conversion, this time, back from physical to virtual.