Vw planning a lightweight performance version of the Golf GTi

Article by Christian A., on September 13, 2012

Alongside the Mk7 Volkswagen Golf, the automaker will be offering a limited run, lightweight performance version of the GTi. Spy images of the GTi test mule were taken while it was subjected to testing in Germany. The 'carbon Golf GTi' will extensively use carbonfibre and aluminium. The carbon GTi was developed partly to pay tribute to the original, pared-down GTi.

Lightweight aluminium will be used on the front bulkhead, windscreen surround and floor panels while hi-tech carbonfiber will be used for the roof and bonnet. The use of these advanced materials will result to a 200kg drop in the kerb weight of the carbon GTi (to 1125kg) when compared to the outgoing model.

According to Autocar, the lightweight Golf will demonstrate how VW will make use of advanced materials. It is actually reminiscent of the original GTi’s agility and simplicity that had a weight of only 810kg.

It will be powered by the 222bhp turbo 2.0-litre engine that is shared with the Mk7 Golf GTi. With the lighter body, the 0-62mph acceleration time will improve, falling to under six seconds. Its output will be limited and will be added to the production of the standard GTi.

It’s possible that it will be launched in 2014 just in time to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Volkswagen Golf. The carbon Golf GTI is the result of two production breakthroughs. Insiders said that the roof is a somewhat similar to a sandwich composed of two layers of carbonfibre over a thin steel core, which permits the roof to be welded into the body on a standard production line.

Meanwhile, the alloy bulkhead, windscreen surround and complete rear floor, which begin from under the rear seats until the rear bumper is riveted or bonded to the steel understructure.

Of course, the seventh generation of the VW Golf GTI also features the usual GTI insignia. The insignia on the latest Golf GTI includes the typical red trim strip on the radiator grille that now meets with the headlamps. Differentiating the Golf GTI from the standard Golf are sporty cues like the extra air inlet openings in the front spoiler with honeycomb-structured screens. Unique cues also include xenon headlights with a distinct light signature and vertical fog lights on the front as well as a larger rear spoiler and massive tailpipes arranged far outboard.

The seventh generation of the Golf GTI also comes with special 17-inch alloy wheels (Brooklyn type) as complemented by GTI sport suspension that lowers the ride height of the vehicle by 15 mm.

In particular, the front end of the seventh-gen Golf GTI features a red line (red stripe) on the radiator grille. This red line extends from the grille on both sides into the housings of the standard bi-xenon headlights. This way, the horizontal red line now runs from one side to the other, thereby covering the full width of the front end as it flows parallel to the bumper and to the bonnet seam.

This styling differs from that on the first and sixth generations of the Golf GTI. On the original Golf GTI, the red line completely borders the radiator grille. On the sixth-gen Golf GTI, the grille is framed on top and bottom by two red stripes. The seventh-gen Golf GTI could be availed with optional LED fog lights.

The black air inlet with honeycomb structure screen – located on the lower section of the front bumper -- is now surrounded by surfaces finished in body color, instead of a black border. The decision to change this styling was due to the fact such a tweak would allow the air inlet to make a stronger impression. This air inlet is flanked by three lateral, high-gloss black aerodynamic fins just located below the headlamps. In addition, the new Golf GTI features a black splitter placed on the lower section of the front spoiler.

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