Volkswagen has turned the virtual into reality, presenting the GTI Roadster concept at the Woerthersee GTI meeting in Austria (18-31 May).

ORIGINALLY CREATED TO BE AN electronic player in Sony Playstation’s Gran Turismo 6 (GT6), the virtual GTI Roadster was the work of three Volkswagen designers, who’d won an in-house competition to design a vehicle to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo game.

With none of the usual fiscal and engineering restrictions, the trio, consisting of Malte Hammerbeck, Domen Rucigaj and Guillermo Mignot, sketched the winning design that was selected by Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen, and Kazunori Yamauchi of Sony Computer Entertainment, the creator of the Gran Turismo series.

The virtual car was unveiled on 26 May, and now, Volkswagen has revealed the real thing.

Volkswagen GTI Roadster concept

The GTI Roadster draws on last year’s Woerthersee car, the Design Vision GTI, but takes the design even further.  Its 2494mm wheelbase is 137mm shorter than that of a production Golf GTI, and also shorter than the wheelbase of the Design Vision GTI.  The GTI Roadster’s height (1090mm) and extreme width (1894mm) versus its overall length (4158 mm) give it epic proportions – bringing to mind elements of the iconic BMW M1, or is that just us?

Power comes from a 3.0-litre V6 biturbo TSI engine that produces 370kW and 560Nm (from 4000 – 6000rpm). Power is delivered via a seven-speed DSG gearbox and 4MOTION four-wheel drive, helping to propel the 1420kg GTI Roadster from 0-100km/h in just 3.6 seconds. To ensure the thing can stop, VW has fitted it with ceramic brakes that sit behind 8.5 x 20-inch wheels with 235/35 tyres at the front and 9.5 x 20-inch wheels with 275/30 tyres at the rear.

Volkswagen GTI Roadster concept

The exterior of the car is painted in a new colour, called Gran Turismo Red. The interior features black- and anthracite-coloured sections, contrasted by classic GTI red on the stitching and also on the five-point safety harnesses.

While there are no plans for production, players of GT6 will be able to download the virtual GTI Roadster from mid-June.


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