Los Angeles 2014: VW Golf R 400 and GTI Roadster Concepts Bring the Heat
VW is bringing a pair of concepts to the Los Angeles Auto Show that both started life as typical standard Golfs
, but while one is more or less steeped in reality, the other was born and bred in the virtual world long before any consideration was made to actually building a physical example of it.
First shown earlier this year at the Beijing Auto Show, the Golf R 400 makes its North American debut in LA packing some pretty serious firepower. Motivated by a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that’s been warmed over with technology from VW’s WRC program, the mill now generates a healthy 394 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. With a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox hooked up to VW’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system, it’s enough to get the 3,130-pound Golf R 400 from zero to 60 mph in a scant 3.9 seconds.
The Golf R 400 retains the same suspension tuning from the standard Golf R, which is lowered by 0.8 inches compared with a regular Golf and features a strut-type layout with lower control arms and a multi-link suspension at the rear.
The body of the Golf R 400 has been widened by 0.8 inches on each side to accommodate the 19-inch wheels that are further outboard due to their larger wheel offset, while a new front fascia is said to take inspiration from the 1988 Rallye Golf G60. Inside, the Golf R 400 features sport buckets with integrated head restraints and accommodation for racing harnesses, and extensive use of Alcantara and carbon fiber accents can be found throughout.
Also on hand in Los Angeles is the Golf Roadster Concept, which first made its purely-digital debut in Gran Turismo 6
for the PlayStation 3. The concept is the result of a joint venture between VW and Sony Computer Entertainment and is powered by 3.0-liter twin turbocharged V6 that outputs 503 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. The 3,133 pound sports car is estimated to be able to hit sixty miles per hour from rest in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 192 miles per hour.
VW gave its designers free reign when developing the GTI Roadster Concept. Without constraints like price and production feasibility, the result is what VW proclaims as “The most spectacular GTI ever.” Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen said this of the joint venture between the two companies:
"The project offered a wonderful opportunity to sketch out extreme ideas and design elements of the GTI that are portrayed as vibrantly, dynamically and emotionally as possible. Further development of an unmistakable design and a love for detail reflect the high standards shared by the Volkswagen GTI and the ‘Gran Turismo’ by Sony PlayStation® product brands.”
VW remarks that the GTI Roadster shows “the potential of Volkswagen’s design DNA” and also indicates that “the GTI will be around for a long time to come.” Check out the press releases below for additional details on this pair of concepts.
GOLF R 400 CONCEPT CAR MAKES NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT THE 2014 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW
Nov 14, 2014
Ultimate concept version of the Golf R has 394-horsepower 2.0-liter TSI engine
Accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, top speed of 174 mph
Vehicle’s design and performance inspired by VW’s motorsport experience
Power is put to the blacktop via 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system
Los Angeles, CA — After making its global debut at the Beijing Auto Show earlier this year, Volkswagen of America is presenting the exciting Golf R 400 concept car for the first time in North America at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Developed by R GmbH, the Golf R 400 concept shows just how far the Golf R can be taken using the experience gained from VW’s involvement in World Rallycross (WRC). The “400” in the name refers to the vehicle’s 400 PS (394 horsepower) 2.0-liter TSI® engine, which propels the car from zero to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 173 mph.
The Golf R 400, including its all-wheel drive system, weighs just 1,420 kilograms (3,130 pounds) thanks in part to its compact high-performance engine and lightweight dual-clutch gearbox. Its weight-to-power ratio is a stellar 7.72 pounds per horsepower (3.55 kg per PS). The 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive system is one of the most fuel-efficient systems of its kind and the Golf is also exceptionally aerodynamic, even in R 400 form. The car is painted in "Silver Flake" and features a glossy black roof, carbon-look front splitter, and genuine carbon mirror caps. Inside, additional carbon accents further reiterate the Golf R 400’s sporty nature.
R 400 Drivetrain
The Golf R 400 is powered by a 2.0 TSI four-cylinder engine with the technical genes of VW’s WRC racing engine. Compared to the 292-hp engine in the production Golf R, the Golf R 400 develops more than 100 additional horsepower—394 hp, delivered at 7,200 rpm. The specific power output of around 200 hp per liter is on the same level as a supercar’s. The engine’s maximum torque was increased to 332 pound feet, up from 280 lbft, available between 2,400 and 6,000 rpm.
In this car, the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is coupled with a six-speed manual transmission. The all-wheel drive system, which features a Haldex-5 coupling, is activated even before slip occurs. Under low load conditions, or during coastdown, the front wheels handle most of the propulsive power, while the rear axle is decoupled, saving on fuel. If necessary, the rear axle of the Golf R can be variably engaged in fractions of a second. This is done by means of the Haldex coupling that is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.
Along with the Haldex coupling—which acts as a center differential—the electronic differential locks (EDS) integrated in the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system act laterally. In addition, the Golf R 400 is equipped with the XDS+ system on both the front and rear axles, which brakes the inside wheels and optimizes steering response. The Golf R 400 also has an "ESC Sport" function like that of the production car, activated via a two-stage switch on the center console. When the driver presses the button briefly, the "ESC Sport" mode is selected. When engaged in spirited driving in this mode, the ESC does not intervene as frequently. If the ESC button is held down more than three seconds, “race mode” is engaged, designed for high-speed track driving.
The production Golf R’s sport suspension, which is lowered by 0.8 inches compared with a regular Golf, did not have to be changed for the Golf R 400. In front, the two Golf Rs each have a strut-type layout with lower control arms, with a multi-link suspension at the rear. The aluminum-alloy wheels of the Golf R 400 are based on the 19-inch "Cadiz" production wheels, but they were highly modified and equipped with high-gloss black inserts which are designed as air vanes to help to cool the brake system. Like the production Golf R, the tires are sized 235/35 R19.
Volkswagen Design made wide-ranging changes to the Golf R 400. The body was widened by 0.8 inches on each side to accommodate the 19-inch wheels that are further outboard due to their larger wheel offset. In front, the designers developed an entirely new front bumper, which—harking back to the Rallye Golf G60 of 1988—is significantly flared. Similarly, the rear fenders were also flared over the wider rear wheels. In addition, the lower sides of the car are characterized by a wrap-around splitter made of carbonfiber that doubles as a motorsport-style aerodynamic element.
Beneath the high-gloss black radiator grille with "Lemon Yellow" accents, there’s a slot that serves as an air intake to address the Golf R 400’s elevated cooling requirements. On the bumper, the central air inlets are surrounded by C-shaped wing-like elements with high-gloss black inserts. Nestled between these design elements is a protective screen whose honeycomb structure—like so many details of the Golf R 400—is reminiscent of motorsport vehicles. There is also a motorsport-style splitter at the front, with a cabonfiber look.
At the rear, the wrap-around motorsport splitters transition into a diffuser that protrudes slightly from the body. Two exhaust tailpipes are integrated into the diffuser, recalling the Golf R32—the original R-series model that debuted in 2002. However, in the R 400, the inside of the tailpipes has a honeycomb-look that ties in to the design on the front of the car. The rear bumper has been redesigned with C-shaped carbon inlays at each end, with a reflector in the lower horizontal part of each inlay and the vertical part protruding slightly. The designers have also worked in wheelarch exhaust vents. On top, the black roof transitions into a roof spoiler with an integrated LED light bar.
Inside the Golf R 400, the driver and front passenger have motorsport-style bucket seats with integrated head restraints, openings for seatbelts, and “R” badges embroidered on the back. The cross-quilted middle seat panels are finished in Anthracite colored Alcantara; the seat bolsters, headrests, and lower lateral supports are covered in ex clusive "carbon leather". The divided rear seats also have carbon leather outer areas, with Alcantara seating surfaces in the center.
Carbon is used as the dominant material for accents in the doors and on the passenger’s side of the dashboard—in contrast to the exterior, however, it is glossy rather than matte clearcoat. The center console accents, cockpit surround and trim around the air nozzles are designed with a glossy “Piano Black” piano. Contrasting stitching in the car’s signature yellow accent color is used also throughout the interior. There is white ambience lighting around the door accents and the stainless steel door sill plates.
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subs idiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers , and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 649 independent U.S. dealers.
VOLKSWAGEN GTI ROADSTER MAKES NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT THE LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
Nov 14, 2014
Spectacular concept car blurs the boundaries between the virtual and real worlds
Herndon/Los Angeles — Volkswagen will show the spectacular GTI Roadster concept car in North America for the first time at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. First seen at the Wörthersee enthusiast festival in Austria in May, this car erases the boundaries between the virtual and real worlds and further demonstrates the bandwidth of the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture that underpins the new Golf, Golf GTI, e-Golf, and Golf R models.
The GTI Roadster is a Golf GTI show car that was originally created as a purely electronic CGI entity for the Sony PlayStation®3 classic "Gran Turismo 6" ("GT6"). The two-seat convertible is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbocharged TSI® engine that produces 503 horsepower and a mighty 413 pound-feet of torque between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm; from just 2,000 revs, 369 lb-ft of that torque is available. The power of the TSI engine is transferred to the 20-inch wheel-and-tire combination via a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system. The lightweight, 3,133- pound sports car 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 is the result of cooperation between Volkswagen and Sony Computer Entertainment. Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen remarks: "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 than Kazunori Yamauchi, Director of Polyphony Digital and Vice-President of Sony Computer Entertainment—and the inventor of the "Gran Turismo series".
Yamauchi is a GTI fan. The Japanese executive has his own stable of sports cars that includes a Golf GTI, the iconic sporty compact. Bischoff and Yamauchi finally chose two designs, which were then developed further. Designers Malte Hammerbeck and Domen Rucigaj were in charge of developing the exterior, whilst Guillermo Mignot was responsible for the interior. The entire development process was realized on the computer and even the 3D model of the vehicle was virtual.
Together, the three colleagues formed a sort of "Vision GTI -GT6 task force", working with other designers. Just a few weeks later, their GTI Roadster was ready. Sony and Volkswagen unveiled the version for the virtual world of PlayStation®3 on 26 May and three days later, Volkswagen unveiled the real GTI Roadster at the GTI festival in Reifnitz, Austria as a tribute to fans of the Golf GTI and of "GT6". From mid-June, "GT6" players were able to download the GTI Roadster, Vision Gran Turismo for PS3.
Most spectacular GTI ever. Since Volkswagen designers gave their imagination free rein in designing the "GTI Roadster" for the "GT6" game—and were able to overlook production constraints like price and production feasibility—the resulting car is certainly the most spectacular Golf GTI ever. Klaus Bischoff: "The Vision GT project offered a wonderful opportunity to sketch out extreme ideas and design elements of the GTI that are portrayed as vibrantly, dynamically and emotionally as possible. Further development of an unmistakable design and a love for detail reflect the high standards shared by the Volkswagen GTI and the ‘Gran Turismo’ by Sony PlayStation® product brands.”
In designing the GTI Roadster, Volkswagen revolutionized the visual concept of the Design Vision GTI concept car that was presented at Wörthersee and the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2013. It was further developed, reinvented and sent into the future as a roadster, although there is still a link to the earlier car since Volkswagen used the Design Vision GTI to show how a race version of the Golf GTI might look. Like the Design Vision GTI, the Roadster keeps the principles of Volkswagen’s Design DNA and also incorporates the wild C-posts and side skirts, but expressed to a whole new level.
Both concept cars show the potential of Volkswagen’s Design DNA, and that the GTI will be around for a long time to come. The goal of the GTI Roadster 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.
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetl e Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 649 independent U.S. dealers.