Published on November 19th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
VW GTI Roadster. Will It Be Produced?
Mini has already shown its version. Toyota has one ready for showroom duty and Jaguar has already hinted of their version. This is the VW GTI Roadster. It was to push the Design Vision GTI concept to even greater extremes. The 98.2-inch wheelbase of the Roadster is significantly shorter than that of the production GTI and the “Design Vision GTI”. With its minimal overhangs, low, 42.9-inch height, and 74.6-inch width, the 163.7-inch-long Roadster has jaw-dropping proportions.
The design of the GTI Roadster launches the GTI 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.
The roadster body was aerodynamically optimized, with the most prominent visual feature being the large rear wing. This creates plenty of downforce that aids traction, along with the all-wheel-drive system. Ahead of the wing, the C-pillars—which are a defining design element of the Design Vision GTI, extending into the roof—form a roll-over bar. The rear spoiler gives the appearance of a wing hovering behind the roadster.
The GTI Roadster sports a radiant, intensive red metallic color, a new interpretation of the classic Golf GTI “Tornado Red”. Designers gave the name “Gran Turismo Red” to the new color. Malte Hammerbeck says: “We were looking for a very provocative and aggressive red. The car should look fast, even when it is standing still, and the paint should emphasize its surface contours.” All bolt-on parts are designed in matte carbon as an accent that complements the high-gloss red of the body. Only the radiator grille and the screen over the engine compartment vent are finished in high-gloss black.
The doors swivel up and forward, visually splitting a prominent character line into an upper and lower half. The contours of the doors are also very distinctive, because they are framed by the side skirts (trimmed with the “Gran Turismo” badge at the rear), the C-pillar and the heavily flared wheelarches. A small but exclusive detail on the sides is the illuminated GTI badge that is integrated in the “tornado” line. On the upper door section, the side window forms a line that rises forward with the low-profile windscreen, like a speedboat’s.
The 20-inch Golf GTI centerlock aluminum-alloy wheels have body-color elements and are 8.5J wide at the front and 9.5J at the back, with 235/35 ZR20 front and 275/30 ZR20 tires. The brakes are suitably large to cope with the car’s performance: 15.0 inches in diameter at the front and 14.0 inches at the rear.
Front end design: Viewed directly from the front, the roadster looks like a Golf GTI—except, one from the future. The GTI front end has a three-dimensional design with bumper elements that appear to hover and a splitter that is designed to increase downforce at the front end. Classic Golf GTI design elements such as the prominent VW badge, the red radiator cross strip, and GTI logo are offset by dual LED headlights and LED daytime running lights that have an unmistakable light signature. On the race courses of the GT6 world, this unmistakable and charismatic front-end will cause some uneasiness when competitors see it approaching in their digital rear-view 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 a wrap-around element. At the rear, they serve as aerodynamically optimized air ducts. The rear diffuser is highlighted by metal slats and two low-slung rear lights. The trapezoidal dual exhaust tailpipes (with GTI badging) are positioned in the middle of the car above the diffuser. Adding to the layered look at the back are the narrow three-dimensional lights and the spoiler above it.
The driver and passenger sit in a carbonfiber monocoque. The two sides are partitioned by an open bar that ascends from rear to front, with a fire extinguisher beneath it. The GTI Roadster is equipped with two race-style buckets, placed low. The seats and the four-spoke grip-style steering wheel are covered with Alcantara. Another motorsport-style feature is the cockpit 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. Designers located the red, illuminated rotary light switch and shift paddles to the left and right of the steering wheel’s central axis, so the driver never has to move his or her hand off the wheel.
The interior and exterior materials and colors were intentionally differentiated: the typical GTI red is used for some interior accents, such as the five-point safety belts, contrasting stitching on the seats, the door handles and the steering-wheel controls on the steering wheel, but the rest of the color selections were trimmed to “Black” and “Anthracite”. Inside the GTI Roadster, most decorative elements were omitted in favor of an uncompromising motorsport ambience so that the driver can focus exclusively on both the real and virtual race track. Will this car be put into production?