Automotive

Volkswagen's next generation electrifies the Golf at Worthersee

Volkswagen's next generation e...
Volkswagen first revealed its two apprentice Golfs at its Worthersee GTI gathering on Wednesday
Volkswagen first revealed its two apprentice Golfs at its Worthersee GTI gathering on Wednesday
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VW apprentices pose with the Golf GTI First Decade
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VW apprentices pose with the Golf GTI First Decade
Apprentices pose with the Golf GTE Variant impulsE
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Apprentices pose with the Golf GTE Variant impulsE
Volkswagen first revealed its two apprentice Golfs at its Worthersee GTI gathering on Wednesday
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Volkswagen first revealed its two apprentice Golfs at its Worthersee GTI gathering on Wednesday
Volkswagen first revealed its two apprentice Golfs at its Worthersee GTI gathering on Wednesday
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Volkswagen first revealed its two apprentice Golfs at its Worthersee GTI gathering on Wednesday
Apprentices put together the 1,690-watt sounds system for the First Decade
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Apprentices put together the 1,690-watt sounds system for the First Decade
Both new Golf-family show cars have accompanying apps to control specific features
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Both new Golf-family show cars have accompanying apps to control specific features
The noteworthy feature of the Variant impulsE is its 16.8-kWh battery pack
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The noteworthy feature of the Variant impulsE is its 16.8-kWh battery pack
The Variant impulsE has plenty of color
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The Variant impulsE has plenty of color
Volkswagen Golf GTE Variant impulsE
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Volkswagen Golf GTE Variant impulsE
Volkswagen Golf GTE Variant impulsE
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Volkswagen Golf GTE Variant impulsE
The colorful impulsE interior includes controllable ambient door lighting
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The colorful impulsE interior includes controllable ambient door lighting
The impulsE features Alcantara/leather-trimmed bucket seats that follow the five-tone exterior styling
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The impulsE features Alcantara/leather-trimmed bucket seats that follow the five-tone exterior styling
Volkswagen Golf GTE Variant impulsE
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Volkswagen Golf GTE Variant impulsE
The Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade exterior comes to life like a raging sea
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The Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade exterior comes to life like a raging sea
A blend of distinctive blues give the First Decade its unique look
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A blend of distinctive blues give the First Decade its unique look
Apprentices chose the exterior color scheme as a nod to Wörthersee
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Apprentices chose the exterior color scheme as a nod to Wörthersee
A high gloss-black honeycomb grille is another aesthetic feature of the First Decade
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A high gloss-black honeycomb grille is another aesthetic feature of the First Decade
Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade
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Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade
Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade
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Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade
The high-gloss black 20-in mb-Design wheels with Satin Ocean Shimmer hubs and Brembo high-performance brakes peeking through
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The high-gloss black 20-in mb-Design wheels with Satin Ocean Shimmer hubs and Brembo high-performance brakes peeking through
The First Decade features a 404-hp engine up front and 16-hp electric motor in back
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The First Decade features a 404-hp engine up front and 16-hp electric motor in back
Inside the Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade
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Inside the Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade
Inside the Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade
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Inside the Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade
The covers for the tailgate speakers were among the 3D-printed components on the Golf GTI First Decade
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The covers for the tailgate speakers were among the 3D-printed components on the Golf GTI First Decade
First Decade sound system
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First Decade sound system
Forget rear seats and a luggage compartment; the First Decade has a booming stereo system with 11 speakers, a sub and special LED lighting
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Forget rear seats and a luggage compartment; the First Decade has a booming stereo system with 11 speakers, a sub and special LED lighting
Apprentices work on the Golf GTI First Decade
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Apprentices work on the Golf GTI First Decade
Prior to reveal, the Golf GTI First Decade poses with previous apprentice Worthersee GTIs
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Prior to reveal, the Golf GTI First Decade poses with previous apprentice Worthersee GTIs

Volkswagen already has the e-Golf and the Golf GTE, and now it's expanding its lineup of electrified Golfs ... for show, anyway. The German automakers' apprenticeship program has produced two new-look hybrid Golfs, the Golf GTI First Decade and Golf GTE Variant (Estate) impulsE. These new concept Golfs offset those longwinded names with punchy design and performance.

One of the highlights of Volkswagen's Wörthersee gathering, the annual apprentice GTI sees its 10th iteration this year, and Volkswagen recognizes the event with the "First Decade" name. The new, blue Golf is also the first GTI to feature an electric drive. Volkswagen and its team of 13 apprentices dipped their toes into the electrified waters, adding a 16-hp (12-kW) electric motor at the rear.

The small electric motor might seem underpowered, but since it's working with a 404-hp 2.0-liter engine up front, it shouldn't feel that way during sprinting and cruising, except, perhaps, when it's the only power plant doing work. The First Decade is designed to be driven under pure-electric rear-wheel drive, all-gas front-wheel drive or hybrid all-wheel drive, giving the driver plenty of choice in managing emissions, efficiency and performance. Modes can be selected from a tablet computer – always convenient when driving - or on the infotainment screen via MirrorLink. We're hoping anyone driving this show car will opt for the latter.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade exterior comes to life like a raging sea
The Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade exterior comes to life like a raging sea

The light electric drive can handle full driving responsibilities in low-demand situations like low-speed, short-distance commuting, parking maneuvers or city traffic, but the First Decade requires engine power for anything more demanding. Regenerative braking helps the two rear-mounted batteries last as long as possible.

VW's apprentice team also worked to give the First Decade a special look, channeling the blue waters of the Wörthersee with Atlantic Blue Metallic, Satin Ocean Shimmer and other shades of blue mixing together in a series of segments, stripes, dashes and accents. A high-gloss black radiator grille, Clubsport rear spoiler and 20-in mb-Design alloy wheels with Ocean Shimmer hubs add more color contrast, and "First Decade" and "10" badges around the exterior finish the cosmetic package off.

Inside, the two sports seats are hand-dressed in titanium black nappa leather and Alcantara and stitched with contrast blue. The driver's seat features multiple massage functions and is electronically adjustable via smartphone or tablet app. Satin Ocean Shimmer and Atlantic Blue trim and highlights appear throughout, as do "10" and "First Decade" badges.

The real interior highlight, though, is in the back, where the seats and luggage compartment have been replaced with a hulking 1,690-watt, 11-speaker stereo system with subwoofer. A custom LED lighting display covers the base plate over top the batteries and electric control hardware, adding to the bass-thumping ambiance.

Forget rear seats and a luggage compartment; the First Decade has a booming stereo system with 11 speakers, a sub and special LED lighting
Forget rear seats and a luggage compartment; the First Decade has a booming stereo system with 11 speakers, a sub and special LED lighting

The apprentices put the Golf GTI First Decade together in a matter of nine months, relying on technologies like CAD, graphic tablets and 3D printing and gaining specialist knowledge and experience along the way.

A second group of VW apprentices is presenting the Golf GTE Variant impulsE at Wörthersee. A stretched version of the Golf GTE (or GTE version of the Variant, if you prefer), this show car features an upsized 16.8-kWh battery that provides about double the all-electric driving range of VW's 8.8-kWh GTE battery. The custom Golf wagon wears a special five-tone matte paint job consisting of Oryx White, Apassionata Blue, Anthracite, Hallmark and St. James Red, a theme that continues inside. The app-controlled door trim ambient lighting and indirect sunroof illumination add to the unique interior look and feel.

The Variant impulsE has plenty of color
The Variant impulsE has plenty of color

These apprentice cars are joining other cars of Wörthersee, like the up! GTI Concept. The gathering got rolling on Wednesday and runs through Saturday.

Source: Volkswagen

2 comments
MartinVoelker
Took me a while to understand this: VW apparently has a program where apprentices design and present cars to get the experience, but not to get actual cars into production. Certainly a great learning experience but I wish the decision makers at VW would get behind EV big time with their lineup for the masses.
Dan Lewis
Volkswagen and all its products are off the Purchase list for at least a generation. Have at you, Volkswagen.