Every year, Volkswagen brings a fleet of modified cars to the Wörthersee meet in Austria as a token of appreciation to fans. VW is always under pressure to surpass the previous year’s batch of cars with something even crazier. Which is why the German automaker equipped a Golf GTI with a hologram projector.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI Aurora concept uses tech straight out of Star Wars to control its 2,500-watt audio system. A holographic image floats above a module housed in the trunk, and can be seen without any special glasses or other addenda — just like in the movies. The hologram includes multiple “screens,” allowing it switch from the GTI logo to a playlist, to an equalizer, to a basic control panel with volume, start, stop, and pause buttons. You won’t see this in a production GTI anytime soon, however.
“The holographic system can be realized using technology modules that are already available today; it is no longer just in the realm of science fiction,” Mark Möller, head of development for Volkswagen Group Components, said in a statement. “However, it will be some time before it can be used in production vehicles.”
The hologram wasn’t the only upgrade for the Aurora. It also received additional display screens that show car-related data, and can be controlled using a tablet. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine was upgraded to produce 380 horsepower — 152 hp more than a stock U.S.-spec GTI. A body kit with a big front splitter, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler, along with a custom paint scheme of Nardo Gray and Deep Black Pearl Effect with Mint Green accents, give the Aurora more visual oomph.
The Aurora was built by a team of VW apprentices based in the automaker’s hometown of Wolfsburg, Germany. A second team of apprentices from Zwickau, Germany, built their own car — a modified Golf R Estate. Called FighteR, the car doesn’t have onboard holograms, but it does boast a modified 2.0-liter, turbo-four engine making 400 hp — 100 hp more than a stock Golf R Estate. It also sports a roof-mounted 360-degree camera, which VW used to record a lap of Germany’s Sachsenring race track, which Wörthersee visitors will be able to watch using virtual reality glasses.
Volkswagen is working on the next-generation Golf, which will spawn new GTI and Golf R models. The new Golf is expected to be a clean-sheet redesign, incorporating new features like a mild-hybrid powertrain and over-the-air software updates. It should also lead to plenty more crazy Wörthersee concept cars.