Volkswagen is among those few companies that not only accepted the challenge from Sony Playstation and their Gran Turismo 6 (GT6) to design a virtual concept for their game, but also went ahead and built a real life example (Mercedes did too), and now their showing it at the most appropriate event: the 2014 Wörthersee GTI Tour in Austria.
We say the most appropriate because VW's GTI Roadster study pays tribute to the hot hatch series that was born in 1976.
It is the work of three young VW designers, including Malte Hammerbeck, Domen Rucigaj and Guillermo Mignot, who were the winners of an in-house competition to design a vehicle to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo game. Klaus Bischoff, VW's Head of Design f, and Kazunori Yamaucht, the creator of the Gran Turismo series from Sony, selected the winning design.
The three young men were inspired by last year's VW Design Vision GTI Concept creating an even more extreme speedster model for two that measures 4,158 mm long, 1,894 mm wide and just 1,090 mm tall, while riding on a 2,494 mm wheelbase that is 137 mm shorter than that of the production Golf GTI hatchback.
The impressive looking study replaces the GTI's 2.0-liter 4-cylinder TFSI for a 3.0-liter V6 biturbo TSI engine fitted up front that kicks out 503PS (496hp) and 560Nm (413 lb-ft) of peak torque between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm.
The twin-turbo unit is paired up to a seven-speed DSG gearbox and 4MOTION four-wheel drive that help propel the 1,420 kg (3,130 pounds) GTI Roadster from zero to 100km/h (62mph) in just 3.6 seconds, and on to a top speed of 306km/h (190 mph). For its stopping power, the concept uses ceramic brakes housed behind 20-inch wheels with 235/35 tires at the front and 275/30 at the rear.
VW says that it has no plans for production, but at least players of GT6 will be able to download the GTI Roadster from mid-June and get behind the wheel on Sony's virtual environment.
By John Halas