Volkswagen has revealed its radical open-top GTI roadster concept car at the Wörthersee fan meet in Austria.
The new two-seater was originally conceived as a three-dimensional computer model. The concept, created by three young VW designers, was the winner of an in-house competition to create a car that would be included in Gran Turismo as part of its 15th anniversary celebrations.
Enthusiasm for the arresting design of the low-slung roadster ran high among its design team, however, so the German manufacturer has decided to turn it into a full-sized concept in order to pay homage to a long history of GTI models.
Created at Volkswagen’s main design studio in Wolfsburg, Germany, the GTI Roadster is claimed to combine various styling themes being considered for future Volkswagen production models, with some cues set to be included in the upcoming track version of the seventh-generation Golf.
The look is extreme, with new concept flaunting a distinctive wedged-shaped silhouette and prominent ducting to cool the front-mounted engine, a shallow wrap-around windscreen, sizeable wheelarches and a giant rear wing.
As well as revealing design cues to be included on future Volkswagen models, the GTI Roadster at Wörthersee showcases a new twin-turbocharged direct-injection 3.0-litre VR6 petrol engine. It's currently under development by VW's petrol engine boss, Fritz Eichler, at its R&D centre in Braunschweig, Germany.
The narrow-angle VR6 engine, which produces a claimed 496bhp and a thumping 413lb ft of torque between 4000-6000rpm, drives all four wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. Volkswagen claims that the concept can sprint from 0-62mph in 3.6sec and hit a top speed of 190mph.
The 20-inch wheels are shod with 235/35 front and 275/30 rear tyres and conceived to house giant 380mm front and 356mm rear carbon-ceramic disc brakes.
VW has played down suggestions the GTI Roadster concept previews a new two-seat production model, calling it a "mobile canvas of design and engineering ideas inspired by enthusiasts in the virtual world".
Players of GT6 will be able to download the car from mid-June.