Hot on the heels of its record-setting lap at the Nordschleife, Volkswagen has released two Golf concepts for the annual GTI fan meeting at Worthersee. The Golf GTI Heartbeat, which was created by young apprentices within VW, gets a thumping stereo to match its honeycomb paintjob and 295-kW (395-hp) engine, while the Golf R Wagon has also been kitted out with a unique color scheme and more power.
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It's been 40 years since the first Golf GTI launched, so this year's Worthersee special is designed to celebrate the cars that preceded the current GTI. Based on a two-door GTI Performance, the team of engineers has finished the Heartbeat in a metallic silver paintjob, which contrasts with the gray honeycomb and red highlights that start at the front bumper and work their way down the car. More than just a rolling canvas, the Heartbeat sits on 20-inch BBS wheels to improve its stance.
On the inside, Volkswagen's team has thrown out all practical considerations, and ripped out the rear seats to create space for a 1,360-watt audio setup. With seven speakers, a special Hi-Fi system and LED lighting behind engraved glass, the Heartbeat's rear compartment is what every teenager with a banging subwoofer sitting on the back seat of their Civic would do given the time, money and talent.
The driver and their passenger are treated to bucket seats adorned with "40" emblems and honeycomb patterning to fit in with the exterior theme.
Considering some of the concepts we've seen at Worthersee in the past, the Heartbeat feels a bit tame. From the wide-bodied, gullwing GTI Performance shown in 2008 to the chameleonic GTI Reifnitz from 2011, Worthersee's GTI concepts have a history of pushing the boundaries, but the Heartbeat feels no more special than any of the concepts Volkswagen turns out for every motor show.
Golf R Variant Performance 35
Not to outdone by the team working on the GTI, a separate team of apprentices from Volkswagen's Sachsen vehicle plant have prepared a Golf R Wagon with a special paint job and an incremental 35 hp (26 kW) power bump. Sound familiar?
On the outside, there's a multi-layer red and black paint finish that looks similar to the paint job on last year's Golf R Touch, and the interior roof liner has been airbrushed to match the exterior finish.
Just like the Golf GTI Heartbeat, the team behind the R has fitted a thumping stereo. With 12 speakers and a total output of 2,500 watts, the system is installed in the cargo area, but doesn't eat into the load space thanks to an electrically retractable boot floor.
A quick teaser for the GTI Heartbeat is below.