VW working on super-lightweight GTI

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IOL mot pic sep12 Golf 7 1 . This is the Golf 7. VW has not yet released offiicial pictures of the GTI version.

As more details of VW's seventh-generation Golf reach the cybergarage, comes news of a very special GTI model, which is apparently due for release in 2014 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original GTI.

According to Autocar the lightweight 'carbon Golf GTI' will use carbon-fibre and aluminium components to shave 200kg off the weight of the standard model - which is already 100kg lighter than the outgoing Golf 6.

They're talking about an aluminium front bulkhead, windscreen surround and floor panels as well as a carbon-fibre bonnet (easy that, it's a straight substitution) and roof (more difficult, because the standard steel roof is welded in place and is responsible for a significant proportion of the bodyshell's rigidity.)

SANDWICH MATERIAL

Apparently, Autocar's sources are saying that the VW whitecoats have perfected a sandwich material with a layer of carbon-fibre on either side of a very thin steel sheet, which can be welded into place on a standard production line.

The aluminium-alloy bulkhead, windscreen frame and the floor panel from the rear footwells all the way to the bumper, will be riveted and bonded to the steel platform - a process similar to that used by both Jaguar and Aston Martin.

And it'll be used in the MLB platform for the next generation of Audis with longitudinal engines, as well as the hybrid and electric versions of the Golf 7.

1125KG, READY TO GO

This high-tech bodyshell will bring the carbon GTI in at a kerb weight of around 1125kg - and, says Autocar's Hilton Holloway, with the same 166kW, two-litre turbopetrol engine, you can expect it to hit 100km/h from a standing start in less six seconds.

Apparently the idea is that all the light stuff will make the special GTI more agile, more direct in its responses, more like the original GTI - which weighed just 810kg.

My, how times have changed.

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