VW’s GTI Roadster is a demonic wedge on wheels, destined for Gran Turismo – UPDATE

Although Volkswagen is a very sensible German automaker, making some of the smartest, most sagacious cars on the planet, it does have a wild streak. And just as wild, college-aged coeds in the U.S. head to Fort Lauderdale every spring to get weird, VW lets its freak flag fly once a year at the Woerthersee Festival in Austria.

Last year, VW unveiled the very sleek and sporty Design Vision GTI, which incorporated the family-friendly looks of the 2015 GTI and the braggadocio of the Lamborghini Egoista.

For the 2014 Woerthersee, which kicks off May 28, VW penmen have shrugged off the constraints of the GTI’s functional aspirations and made a concept – called the “GTI Roadster, Vision Gran Turismo” – that is simply irascible.

Slathered in vivid, metallic-red paint, the GTI Roadster looks like a Design Vision GTI that got a makeover from Lady Gaga … and Lucifer. And unlike some of the cars other automakers have designed for Gran Turismo, this Vee-Dub is a drivable concept.

With a race-car-style front splitter and gigantic rear wing, it’s safe to say the GTI Roadster’s looks have been turned up to 37 (and its roof cut clean off).

VW GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo

Though it might be far more aggressive, the engine remains the same as that of the Design Vision GTI: a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo VR6 TSI engine that compels 503 horsepower and 491 pound-feet of torque from its crankshaft. This diabolical (let’s say) V6 is mated to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission that VW itself says is “ferociously fast.” Yes.

Power is sent not to the front wheels, like in the standard GTI, but to all four through VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Stopping forces seem to be just as burly as the VR6’s propulsion potential. Designers bolted up 15-inch brakes in the front and 14-inchers in the rear, which are surrounded by 20-inch wheels.

Keen to drive the GTI Roadster? Normally, with design sketches like this, I’d tell you to start holding your breath and rubbing your magic genie lamp. But – delightfully – you’ll actually get a chance to pilot this beast; it’s being released for Gran Turismo for PlayStation. So just like the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo, you’ll be able to make much smokey fun in the virtual world sometime soon.

Update 5/29/14 – Photos added


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