By: IOL Motoring Staff

Woerthersee, Austria - Volkswagen is turning the virtual world into reality this weekend, as it presents the GTI Roadster concept at the annual Woerthersee GTI rally in Austria.

The GTI Roadster was originally conceived as a purely imaginary car, to feature in the Sony PlayStation classic, Gran Turismo 6; it was created three young Volkswagen designers, winners of an in-house competition to design a vehicle to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo game.


Unfettered by the constraints of production models - for example feasibility and price - designers Malte Hammerbeck, Domen Rucigaj and Guillermo Mignot came up with this winning design, which was unveiled on 26 May, and just days later, Volkswagen presented the real thing at the annual gathering of GTI fans on the shores of Woerthersee, on from 18-31 May.

The GTI Roadster draws on VW's 2013 Woerthersee car, the Design Vision GTI, but it's even more extreme; its 2494mm wheelbase is 137mm shorter than that of the production Golf GTI, and also shorter than the wheelbase of the Design Vision GTI.

The two-seater Roadster's minimal height - just 1090mm - and extreme width (1894mm) versus its overall length of just over four metres help create jaw-dropping proportions.


Motorvation is provided by a three-litre V6 biturbo TSI engine that produces 375kW and 665Nm from 4000 - 6000rpm, 90 percent of which is available from 2000 revs.

That gets laid down via a seven-speed DSG gearbox and 4Motion four-wheel drive, helping to launch the 1420kg Roadster from 0-100 in just 3.6 seconds, and on to a top speed of 305km/h.

Stopping power is suitably prodigious, thanks to ceramic brakes behind 20” rims shod with 235/35 front and 275/30 rear tyres.

The concept is finished in a special dark red, with interior trim in black and dark grey, contrasted by classic GTI red stitching on the upholstery and five-point safety harnesses.

There are no plans for production but Gran Turismo 6 players will be able to download the virtual GTI Roadster from mid-June.