I’ve always had an appreciation for the Volkswagen Golf, the hugely successful replacement to the Beetle. The Beetle was not an easy one to improve on but VW got it right with the Golf and it continues to flourish all these years on with the Golf Design Vision GTI.
The Design Vision GTI has a top speed of 186mph (perfect for the school-run) and almost twice the amount of power of the basic – and not too underpowered – Golf GTI.
VW have really pulled out all the stops for the Design Vision GTI, with the vehicle only actually having the windscreen and MQB chassis directly in common with the Golf that we all know.
The 3.0 litre V6 beast is a one-off for Volkswagen, and borrows it’s good looks from some of the huge array of Golf models that have entertained us over the past few years since it first appeared in 1974.
The most striking thing about this car is the side venting behind the driver and passenger doors that connect the roofline with the chassis. Aesthetically, it really works and gives the Design Vision GTI real visual kudos over its rivals.
Actually, what rivals? There really are none that I can think of. The priceless (ok, £3.4 million if you really have to know) Golf can reach 62mph in just 3.9 seconds – faster than many supercars. But it’s not the performance that impresses me; it’s the looks of the car. I find it very hard these days to find a car that looks so good. Often looks get sacrificed in the wind tunnel – which must be in many ways the bane of all car designers.
The twin-turbocharged VR6 engine pushed out an impressive 496bhp through the 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The beast is brought to life via a small red button on the steering wheel; you then have a choice of Street, Sport or Track modes to choose from.
The interior is not the poor second cousin here either as it often is with many concept vehicles. Alcantara is the covering of choice for the Design Vision GTI with Recaro seats and racing-style 4-pont harnesses. Carbon effect trim completes the visually pleasing interior.
As concepts go, this one is right from the top of the pile, in looks as well as performance. With a favourable wind and the odd prayer, much of this will filter down to regular Golf production models in the near future.