Cabrios are go for Golf

At last, the roof­less range ex­tends to the per­form­ers

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­

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

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