VW to unveil faster Golf GTI at 2013 Wörthersee show

Published: 01 May 2013

Volkswagen will unveil a new Golf GTI concept car at the 2013 Wörthersee show later this month, and it previews a forthcoming high-performance variant of the world’s most iconic hot hatch.

What can you tell me about this new VW Golf GTI concept?

Speaking to CAR at the launch of the new Mk7 Golf GTI, VW r&d boss Dr Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed that a concept car previewing a ‘future version’ of the GTI would be revealed at the annual Wörthersee tuning show.

‘It won’t have as much power as the Golf GTI W12,’ Hackenberg revealed to CAR. ‘It will be more realistic.’ That wouldn’t be hard. The Golf GTI W12 was another Wörthersee concept car, revealed at the 2007 event. It had a mid-mounted twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12 engine out of a Bentley, and with 641bhp and 553lb ft it could hit 62mph in 3.7 seconds and max out at 203mph.

What Golf GTI variant does this concept car preview? It could be an extreme version built to celebrate 40 years of the Golf GTI – the original Mk1 GTI debuted at the 1975 Frankfurt motor show – but as the Golf GTI has always remained a well-rounded hot hatch, the concept may actually tease the Edition 40 GTI. This would be a more subtle high-performance Golf GTI, following in the footsteps of the Edition 30 version of the Mk5 GTI and recent Edition 35 variant of the Mk6 GTI.Anything else?

Dr Hackenberg wouldn’t be drawn on the further details of the concept, but he did confirm to CAR that the new Golf GTI’s electronically controlled differential isn’t at its limit. The trick differential is part of the GTI’s £980 Performance Pack and similar to the E-diff found in a Ferrari 458, and Hackenberg revealed it’s currently capable of handling around 250bhp. With Performance Pack-equipped GTIs developing 227bhp that leaves some scope for the concept to boast more power…

A carbonfibre roof was also originally mooted for the Mk7 GTI, but so far VW hasn’t found a way to cost effectively make it part of the production process. However, Dr Hackenberg and his team are working towards a solution, so this weight saving measure could also appear on the future faster GTI variant. A carbonfibre roof would save about 8-9kg in weight, according to Hackenberg.

Depending on how extreme the GTI concept car is, it could feature extensive weight-saving measures akin to those adopted by the Audi TT Ultra Quattro show car that will also debut Wörthersee.

Are there any other hot Golfs on the horizon?

Yes. Work is well underway on the next-generation Golf R. Like its predecessor it’ll differentiate itself from the GTI by having four-wheel drive and a significant power advantage despite using the same engine – expect 286bhp from the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine.

Dr Hackenberg also revealed the Golf R will feature the two active exhaust flaps found in the Audi S3 but absent from the Golf GTI. The extra noise generated will again help distinguish the Golf R from the Golf GTI. If the Golf R doesn’t make a surprise debut at Wörthersee show later this month, then it’ll debut at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show in September.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy