At the annual GTI festival at Woerthersee, Austria, Volkswagen will be erasing the boundaries between the virtual and real worlds. That’s because the GTI Roadster, Vision Gran Turismo is a Golf GTI show car, which was originally created as a purely electronic CGI entity for Sony PlayStation 3 classic GT6 (Gran Turismo 6). The two-seater convertible is motivated by a V6 twin turbocharged 3.0 liter TSI powerplant, which is good for pumping out 503 horsepower with 413 pound-feet of torque. The TSI engine’s power is transferred to the 20-inch wheel-and-tire combination through 4MOTION four-wheel-drive system and DSG 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The 3133-pound, lightweight sportscar sprints from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 3.5 seconds and goes onto a top track speed of 192 mph.
Volkswagen and Sony
The GTI Roadster, Vision Gran Turismo is the result of cooperation between Sony Computer Entertainment and Volkswagen. Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen said: “When Sony asked us if we would develop a Vision GTI vehicle exclusively for the game to mark the 15th anniversary of Gran Turismo we didn’t hesitate for a moment.” An in-house competition was immediately launched and young Volkswagen designers submitted their designs. The submissions were judged by Bischoff and none other Kazunori Yamauchi, the founder of Gran Tourismo Series, Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment and Director of Polyphony Digital.
Exterior Design – The GTI As A Roadster
The design of the GTI Roadster launches the original GTI and its seven evolutionary stages far into the future. The visual image of the visionary two-seater already promises a direct, visceral driving experience. The driver sits in the monocoque and races around the tracks of the GT6 world from the height and perspective of a formula race car. Its body was aerodynamically optimized, with the most prominent visual feature being the large rear wing. This creates plenty of downforce, which aids traction, in addition to the four-wheel-drive system. The C-pillars that are a defining design element of Design Vision GTI, extending into the roof form a rollover bar.
The GTI gets an intensive, radiant red metallic color, a new interpretation of classic Golf GTI “Tornado Red”. Designers gave the name “Gran Turismo Red” to the new color. All bolt-on parts are designed in matt carbon as an accent, which complements the high-gloss red of the body. Only the screen over the engine compartment vent and radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black. The doors swivel up and forward, visually splitting a prominent character line into an upper and lower half. A small but exclusive detail on the sides is an illuminated GTI badge, which is incorporated in the “tornado” line.
The Golf GTI centerlock 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels have body-color elements and are 9.5J at the back and 8.5J wide at the front, with 275/30 ZR20 rear and 235/35 ZR20 front tires. The brakes are suitably large to cope with the car’s performance: 14.0 inches at the rear and 15.0 inches in diameter at the front.
Front End Design
Viewed directly from the front, the roadster looks like a Golf GTI except, one from the future. The front end has a three-dimensional design with bumper elements, which appear to hover and a splitter that’s engineered for increasing downforce at the front end. Classic Golf GTI design elements such as the red radiator cross strip, GTI logo are offset by dual LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, which have an unmistakable light signature and the prominent VW badge. On the race courses of GT6 world, this charismatic and unmistakable front-end will cause some uneasiness when rivals see it approaching in their digital rearview mirrors. The closer the GTI approaches, the more noticeable is its wedge-shaped air scoop on the hood.
Sculpted rear section
Viewed from the rear, the carbon blades at the front continue uninterrupted across the side skirts and into the rear section as wraparound element. They serve as aerodynamically optimized air ducts. The rear diffuser is emphasized by two low-slung rear lights and metal slats, whereas the trapezoidal dual exhaust tailpipes with GTI badge are positioned in the middle of the car above the diffuser.
The passenger and driver sit in a dual carbonfiber monocoque. The two sides are partitioned by an open bar, which ascends from rear to front, with a fire extinguisher underneath it. The GTI Roadster comes standard with two race-style buckets, placed low. The 4-spoke grip steering column and seats are covered with Alcantara. Another motorsport-style feature is the interior display mounted directly to the steering column, far ahead of the driver. The steering wheel is mounted on a very long, exposed steering column, which is typical of a race car, too.
The exterior and interior colors and materials were intentionally differentiated: the typical GTI red is used for some interior accents, including contrasting stitching on door handles, steering-wheel controls on the steering wheel and the seats, but the rest of the color selections were reduced to “Anthracite” and “Black”. Inside the GTI Roadster, most decorative elements were omitted in favor of an uncompromising motorsport look so that the driver can focus exclusively on both the real and virtual race track.