Cabrios are go for Golf
At last, the roofless range extends to the performers
CABRIO versions of the performance-focused Golf GTI and all-wheel-drive Golf R will join Volkswagen’s everexpanding line-up when the soft-top models go on sale later this year.
VWteased fans at last week’s 30th annual Worthersee car show in Austria with ‘‘ concepts’’ of the two cars that look ready to roll off the production line tomorrow.
They were joined on the massiveVWstand by what the 30,000 devotees ofVWGroup products, specifically the GTI, had hoped to see— a 35th anniversary model fitted with the 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo engine usually found under the bonnet of the Golf R.
That gives the Golf GTI Edition 35 an 18kW lift over regular GTIs to 173kW, with torque up 20Nm to 300Nm.
VWsays the car will use 8.0L/100km with either the sixspeed manual or six-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic with a 0-100km/h time of 6.6 seconds.
Externally, the special edition GTI has unique 18-inch wheels, a revised front spoiler with winglets on the lower edges to improve airflow and black mirror housings. Inside, the ‘‘ golf ball’’ gearshift knob recreates the look of the firstgeneration GTI and the door sill plates and front headrests carry a ‘‘ 35’’ logo.
VWAustralia spokesman Karl Gehling says a limited number of the special edition will make it Down Under. He keeps the company line that the cabrios were purely ‘‘ concepts’’ but admits there will be a receptive audience for the roofless performance pair.
‘‘ The GTI has always been the halo car in the Golf range and I’d expect the cabrio versions to have the same impact,’’ Gehling says.
VWGroup stablemates Audi and Skoda also previewed oneoff concepts, respectively a track-ready A1 Clubsport quattro and a vRS 2000 speedster.
The 370kW/660Nm A1 uses a wildly reworked version of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine in the TT RS. It also inherits the TT’s six-speed manual gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive system.
That gives the A1 quattro a 0-100km/h time of 3.7 seconds, helped by the removal of most interior features, from the sound system to the rear seat.
The Skoda concept is based on the Fabia RS hatch but engineers lopped the roof, widened the track to match the Skoda S2000 rally car and created a ‘‘ glasshouse’’ sloping down to the rear to give the car a slick, clean look.
Hot: TheVWGolf GTI concept
Stablemate: Skoda RS2000 speedster