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VW Design Vision Golf GTI (2013) 493bhp Golf revealed

By Ollie Kew

First Official Pictures

08 May 2013 10:00

As CAR reported in our scoop last week, VW will unveil a higher-performance Golf GTI hot hatch at the 2013 Wörthersee show, and here we have the first sketches of the super-Golf. Called the VW Design Vision Golf GTI, the concept packs close to 500bhp and can outrun a Porsche 911. It's by far the most extreme Golf hot hatch since the Bentley-engined GTI W12 concept of 2007.

Just how fast is the VW Design Vision Golf GTI’?

In the Design Vision Golf GTI a front-mounted 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 develops 496bhp and 413lb ft. The power is deployed by all four wheels to the road via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. VW claims the concept will hit 62mph in a scant 3.9sec – that’s almost half the time it takes a regular road-going Golf GTI to reach the same speed. The old W12 GTI used a mid-mounted engine and all-wheel drive.

The concept wears 20in alloys (regular GTIs get 18s, with 19s a cost option). Reining in all that power are ceramic brake discs on all four corners, in place of the normal GTI’s steel stoppers.

The Design Vision Golf GTI doesn’t look much like a regular Golf…

Although we’ve only seen these sketches so far, it’s clear the Design Vision Golf GTI is pumped up visually far beyond the look of a common-or-garden hot hatch. The side sills and entire C-pillar stand apart from the side of the car like a supercar’s air intake. The Design VisionGolf  GTI is 71mm wider than a road-going Golf GTI, though it’s still based on the VW Group’s flexible MQB architecture, which underpins the new Golf, Seat Leon, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia. A 15mm reduction in length and 57mm drop in height add to the car’s ridiculously exaggerated proportions.

What’s the Design Vision Golf GTI like inside?

There's a dose of carbonfibre and Alcantara trim, plus red fabric door handle pulls to save weight – you’ll recognize that feature from lightweight Porsches like the GT3 RS and Cayman R. The GTI’s back seats have also been junked, in favour of an X-shaped cross brace.

Underneath that brace there’s space to store a couple of crash helmets, hinting that this is the most track-focused Golf GTI in the model’s 37-year history. Plus, a new dashboard display screen shows the circuit being driven and the driver’s best lap times – the system is even claimed to communicate with other vehicles on track to warn of danger ahead.

What are the chances of being able to buy a Design Vision Golf GTI?

The clue is in the concept’s name: this is just a vision of the ultimate GTI, rather than a serious track-day production special. If you crave the ultimate road-going Golf, you’ll have to wait for the 286bhp all-wheel drive Golf R, due later in 2013. Click here for CAR’s scoop on what’s soon to be the fastest VW Golf ever.