Volkswagen’s hottest GTI set for fan festival

Annual Worthersee party will see debut of 261hp Golf

Super-GTI goes on sale next year to mark 40th anniversary of the original hot Golf.

Super-GTI goes on sale next year to mark 40th anniversary of the original hot Golf.

 

The annual gathering of VW GTI fans at Worthersee in Austria has become a major event for Volkswagen, and it often chooses the festival to be a launching pad for new high performance models from all of the group’s brands.

This year, VW Is bringing along a concept version of a higher-power Golf GTI. The Golf GTI Clubsport concept has been created as a preview of a grungier Golf, set to go on sale next year to mark the 40th anniversary of the original Mk1 Golf GTI.

The Clubsport, shown in this initial image, gets an aggressive new bodykit which VW says will form the basis of the styling for the production model. There’s a deeper, honeycomb radiator grille, some elaborate side strakes for the bottom of the front bumper and a massive diffuser for the rear.

The engine is the existing EA888 2.0-litre turbo as seen in the current Golf GTI, but it’s been tweaked to produce 261hp, around 30hp more than the current most powerful GTI, the GTI Performance Pack. Better yet, for brief periods on over-boost, the engine can stretch itself to almost 290hp. It could render the Golf R somewhat irrelevant…

VW isn’t making any performance claims as yet, but says that the car will significantly improve on the standard GTI’s 0-100kmh time as well as having a 250kmh limited top speed.

Audi will also show a new high-performance model at Worthersee, and it’s also wearing the Clubsport name. The TT Clubsport Turbo concept uses the 2.5-litre, five-cylinder engine from the old TT RS and the current RS3 hatchback, but it gains a pair of experimental electric turbochargers – far faster reacting than conventional exhaust-gas-driven turbos – to push power to almost 600hp.

Audi claims that the four-wheel-drive TT Clubsport can accelerate to 100kmh in just 3.6secs and go on to a top speed of almsot 330kmh.

The car isn’t really a preview of a specific production model, although elements of it will certainly be seen again in the upcoming new TT RS. Rather, it’s a rolling testbed for Audi’s electric turbo tech, which it’s developing for both petrol and diesel.

“Electric turbocharging signifies a new dimension,” he said said Audi’s tech chief Ulrich Hackenberg. “We are close to production readiness with this technology with our diesel engines. Now we are presenting it with a petrol engine, too. We are the first car maker to do this.”

The first production model to get an electric turbo will be the high-performance version of the new Q7 SUV, the SQ7. The standard Q7 will launch in Ireland in July, with a starting price of €72,975.