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VW’s race-inspired GTI Roadster concept coming to LA

Introduced earlier this year at the annual Wörthersee festival in Austria, Volkswagen’s wild GTI Roadster concept is scheduled to make its North American debut next week at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

The GTI Roadster shares its modular MQB platform with a number of recent Volkswagen products including the seventh-gen Golf / GTI, the Audi A3 and the Europe-only eighth-generation Passat. The similarities with street-legal cars stop there, and the GTI Roadster adopts a futuristic low-slung design that earns it the distinction of being the most aggressive-looking Volkswagen in recent memory.

Scissor doors provide access to a cockpit built upon a carbon fiber monocoque. Interior pictures have not been published but Volkswagen promises the GTI Roadster offers space for two passengers in a motorsport-inspired atmosphere with an Alcantara-upholstered four-spoke steering wheel, bucket seats with five-point belts and a digital information display mounted on an exposed steering column.

Related: Outrageous rallycross Beetle

The topless GTI backs up its muscular appearance with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine rated at 503 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission controlled by shift paddles, the six-cylinder sends the GTI Roadster from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 192 mph.

The GTI Roadster was designed to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the popular Gran Turismo gaming series. It is unlikely to make it past the prototype stage but gamers can download it and add it to their virtual garage.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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