Volkswagen previews new 496bhp GTI Roadster Concept

Volkswagen reveals new 496bhp GTI Roadster Concept

Gran Turismo video game car to be brought to life at Volkswagen’s Wörthersee fan meet

Volkswagen has issued a series of official design sketches hinting at the appearance of a radical open-top concept car which is set to be unveiled at the Wörthersee fan meet in Austria on May 29.

Called the GTI Roadster, the new two-seater was originally conceived as a three-dimensional computer model in a joint project between Volkswagen and Sony for inclusion in the Gran Turismo computer game.

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 cues to be included 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 headed for 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.

With a claimed 496bhp and a a thumping 490lb ft of torque, the narrow-angle VR6 engine drives all four wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. 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”.

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