Yes, it’s that time of year again. Wörthersee time. And, as usual, Volkswagen has asked its apprentices to create something special to present to the GTI fans on the shores of the lake in Austria. The result? The Volkswagen Golf GTI Next Level.
This Golf GTI (along with the Golf Estate TGI GMotion) was created in about nine months on the basis of ideas from 29 apprentices in 12 vocations.
The Golf GTI Next Level is powered by VW’s familiar turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, but with peak outputs raised to 302 kW and 511 N.m. An upgraded turbocharger and a larger intercooler have been fitted, along with forged pistons and a specially modified stainless steel exhaust (with remote valve control). Bilstein coilovers and Brembo brakes have also been added.
Equipped with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the special GTI (created by apprentices from Wolfsburg) is painted in white silver metallic with a deep black pearl effect at the rear.
Contrasting foils with forked arrows have been applied to the paintwork and, like the body kit (including the rear diffuser and sections of the Audi R8 forged alloys wheels) have been painted by hand.
The model is a strict two-seater since the rear bench has been binned in favour of a comprehensive sound and multimedia installation. The apprentices designed the side trims and mounts for the 12 loudspeakers and subwoofer on CAD computers and fabricated them using 3D printing. In addition, VW says the apprentices programmed special apps to control the electrically powered opening cargo floor, the retractable LED monitor and the LED underfloor lighting using a tablet or smartphone.
“During the creation of their dream Golf, our apprentices learn about the complexity of automobile production and many future-oriented topics. They also gain practical experience in the application of digital technologies, control and systems technology and the networking of vehicles with the internet,” said Andreas Strutz, head of vocational education and further training for vehicle construction.
“For this unique vehicle project, we select especially committed young talents and give them the opportunity to learn from experienced colleagues at an early stage.”
Apprentices from Zwickau, meanwhile, unveiled the Golf Estate TGI GMotion, which employs a 96 kW 1,5-litre natural gas engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and integrated all-wheel drive.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.