The auto industry is as much about looking behind as it is looking ahead. Because of the deep history the auto sector has culturally, we can enjoy events like the Mille Miglia and the Goodwood Festival of Speed; some manufacturers will also go out of their way to commemorate their own roots. For Volkswagen, that means the annual Wörthersee gathering in Austria.
Wörthersee is a time for fans of the brand to come together, swap ideas and stories, show off their rides, and take in what the company has been working on most recently. Each year, Volkswagen prepares a few special-edition offerings to rally up its fan base. Last year, among others, there was a 525 horsepower S3, which looks a bit like child’s play next to the slate that VW prepared for this year’s attendees.
As the Volkswagen GTI closes in on its 40th birthday, VW went all out. Audi returned as well, upstaging it’s own pocket rocket from last year with a TT that’s more R8 Le Mans racer than casual weekend driver. Check out what the minds in Wolfsburg created this year.
Volkswagen GTI Club Sport
On the surface, the Volkswagen GTI Clubsport looks, for the most part, like a stock 2015 GTI. However, beneath the hood, VW engineers have supplemented it with 50 additional horsepower, for a grand total of 261. That’s enough to surpass the late Ford Focus ST’s 252, and edges the GTI towards it’s hotter sibling, the 292 horse Golf R. This is sort of a birthday present from VW to the GTI, which turns 40 next year; unlike most Wörthersee concepts, though, it’s likely that the Club Sport will actually see production.
Audi TT Club Sport
Generally, the R8 sits atop Audi’s street-legal pyramid. However, the 600 horsepower TT concept that the brand created for Wörthersee has the means to topple the mighty R8 from its throne, that is if it ever sees production. Which it won’t. Still, the figures from this car are staggering: its power comes from an electrically turbocharged five-cylinder engine, a top speed of over 200 miles per hour, and a zero-to-60 sprint of under four seconds.
Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine
Peculiar name aside, the Dark Shine GTI concept is all business. Built by 13 Volkswagen apprentices, the Dark Shine takes a stock GTI and adds a stainless steel exhaust system, an upgraded intercooler, a tuned engine-control unit, and a whole lot more. The result is 488 horsepower and 359 pound-feet of torque from Volkswagen’s 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder, making for one beastly GTI and one firm push on the boundaries of small, low-cylinder engines.
Volkswagen GTE Sport Concept
The most outlandish concept present at Wörthersee this year was the GTE Sport. It doesn’t look like the current generation of Golfs, because it’s not — it’s meant to hint at the future design direction of VW’s famous hatch. It does so in a spectacular way, too. It has 395 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque, from a hybrid system consisting of a 1.6 liter turbo-four (which VW uses for rallying) and a pair of electric motors. It makes extensive use of carbon fiber, and is apparently capable of 174 miles per hour at top speed. Yee-haw.
Volkswagen Variant Biturbo
Lastly, the apprentices from Volkswagen put their talents to good use on the latest Golf wagon, and as the name suggests, it’s now fitted with two turbochargers as opposed to the usual one. Sadly, this electric blue and black kiddie carrier is a one-off and won’t see production, a shame because it has 236 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, which sounds like not a whole lot until you realize that it’s a TDI diesel putting those figures out. That’s a fair step up from the 184 horsepower 280 pound-feet that the car usually gets, and it especially stings as it carries VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive.