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VW's 503-HP ‘Design Vision GTI’ Concept Revealed At Wörthersee Tour

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Volkswagen’s hardcore GTI concept that we told you was heading for Austria’s annual Wörthersee Tour tuning event has been revealed today.

Called the Design Vision GTI, the concept is based on the latest 2015 Volkswagen GTI, the seventh generation of the iconic hot hatch, and has been developed as a ready-to-race product.

The regular GTI’s drivetrain has been thoroughly overhauled for the concept, with the standard four-cylinder turbo replaced by a twin-turbocharged and direct-injected 3.0-liter V-6. Peak output now registers at 503 horsepower and 413 pound-feet, which is more than double that of the regular GTI.

All this power and torque is distributed to the wheels via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission and Haldex all-wheel-drive system. Volkswagen boasts the concept will hit 62 mph from rest in just 3.9 seconds and max out at 186 mph.

In order to slow this souped-up GTI, designers fitted large carbon ceramic brakes, sized 15.0 inches up front and 14.0 inches at the back. The 20-inch wheels, which feature the GTI’s ‘Austin’ pattern, come with special blades designed to vent hot air generated by the brakes through the wheel openings. The wheel bolts are covered to give the appearance of a center-lock design.

The design team for the Design Vision GTI, led by Volkswagen brand design chief Klaus Bischoff, has drawn the C-pillars and sills outward, thus creating space for substantially wider front and rear tracks, as well as the specially developed wheels (with 235 tires in the front and 275s at the rear). The concept is slightly shorter than a regular GTI, however, thanks mainly to a more compact rear bumper treatment, and it sits a bit lower as well.

One particularly neat element is the GTI's typical red grille divide, which on the concept also divides the headlights. The actual lighting elements are set back, giving them a deep, sunken look.

Volkswagen Design Vision GTI racing concept

Volkswagen Design Vision GTI racing concept

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Inside, designers had a ‘pure GTI’ focus, which meant concentrating on the truly essential but with a little style. This meant as few switches as necessary, so that they can be operated intuitively even while driving hard. Unique features include an electrical kill switch, a push-button for a fire extinguisher and an ESP deactivation button. The car has three drive modes: "Street," "Sport" and "Track".

The shapes of the dashboard and the center console correspond to the GTI's, but are even more driver oriented, with tauter surfaces and harder edges. The race-car impression is reinforced by the use of carbon fiber, which is combined with Alcantara and Nappa leather. The rear seats have also gone; their space taken by an X-shaped cross member that further strengthens body stiffness.

Volkswagen explains that the aim of the design was to provide a glance into the future of the GTI. Though we’re unlikely to see the Design Vision GTI enter production, many of the concept’s features are likely to appear on eventual race versions of the latest Golf as well as the more extreme 2015 Golf R hot hatch due out next year.

The 2013 Wörthersee Tour is currently underway and will run until May 11. For our complete coverage of the event, click here.

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