When VW said it had built a faster Golf we thought it could be an R36. How wrong we were
17 May 2007

This is the VW Golf GTI W12-650, and we want one. You see, if we wanted a faster VW Golf GTi, we wouldn’t really think beyond getting it chipped or chopping it in for an R32. But then we don’t work for Volkswagen, which means we couldn’t borrow the 6.0-litre W12 engine from a Phaeton, rip out the Golf’s back seats and create this fearsome monster.But luckily someone did. Inevitably the GTI W12 is a one-off creation, built to show at the Woerthersee VW/Audi modified car gathering in Austria.Not surprisingly, the GTI W12-650 has a fair amount of power from its twin-turbocharged W12; 641bhp, to be precise, or 650PS (hence the name). It also packs 553lb ft of torque.VW reckons it will run from 0-62mph in 3.7sec, and head on to 202mph, which is pretty much on a par with a Porsche 911 Turbo.The engine is mounted longitudinally behind the front seats, and powers the rear axle through a DSG gearbox. The wheels are based on the GTI’s standard items, but at 19in they are larger and the tyres much wider – 235mm up front and 295mm at the back. The track is 160mm wider than standard, so there are vastly exaggerated wheelarches, giving the GTI W12 the look of a DTM car.The bodywork is a bespoke steel and carbonfibre affair, styled under VW design boss, Klaus Bischoff. “We strived to retain a classic GTi appearance,” said Bischoff. “The biggest challenge was to provide the mid-mounted engine with sufficient air without upsetting the silhouette to any great degree.”That means that there are gaping vents in the side, and the rear side windows slope dramatically inwards, leaving the rear pillars as a kind of Ferrari599-style flying buttress. The whole carbonfibre roof acts as a spoiler.We think it looks bonkers. Please, Mr Winterkorn, can we have one?

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf? The seventh generation of Europe's best selling car has been facelifted to keep its nose ahead of its rivals

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