Volkswagen is keen on keeping the hot hatch alive by producing a unique concept that combines hybrid tech and high-performance engineering. Making its world premiere at the 2017 Worthersee Volkswagen Festival in Austria is the Golf GTI First Decade concept.
Built and designed by thirteen apprentices from Volkswagen and Sitech, it combines a hybrid engine that is capable of producing more than 400 PS along with a lightweight and track-focused design.
“During the creation of their dream GTI, our apprentices learn about the complexity and future challenges of automobile production. They gain further experience in the use of digital technologies, the application of system technology and electro-mobility. This is why we choose our strongest talents and offer them the opportunity to learn from experienced instructors and experts from the entire company at an early stage,” said Peter Christ, head of automotive technology training at Volkswagen.
The driving force of the First Decade concept is a high-output hybrid system that is comprised of a gasoline engine that powers the front wheels and two 48-volt electric motors that spins the rear wheels. The standard engine produces 410 PS while the rear motors produce an additional 16.3 PS (12 kw).
Depending on the mode chosen, the Golf GTI First Decade can be set for either pure engine power (FWD) or electric power (RWD). They can also work in unison like a typical hybrid which allows it to run like an AWD hatchback. Powering the electric motors are two batteries that benefit from regenerative braking, allowing it to gather energy during braking and use it to for extra boost under heavy acceleration.
For its exterior, the apprentices went for an overall blue finish. The three-door hatch concept is painted in Atlantic Blue Metallic, with the doors and side mirrors wrapped in Satin Ocean Shimmer foil that provides a nice contrast. Rally-inspired stripes finished in glossy blue chrome foil further accentuate the car's sporty pedigree. The dual exhaust pipes, Clubsport rear spoiler, 20-inch alloy wheels and blacked-out grill round up some of the exterior highlights of the Golf GTI First Decade.
The blue hue and racing stripes also make their way inside the cabin. These can be seen on the instrument panel, air vents, dashboard, steering wheel, door panels and stitching on the seats. Speaking of seats, the First Decade comes with electronically-adjustable front seats that can be controlled with an app via a smartphone or tablet. Both are upholstered in black nappa leather with Alcantara and have back massage and memory function.
The rear bench has been replaced with a high-tech audio system that is capable of pumping out 1,690 watts and is helped by 11 loudspeakers and a subwoofer. There is even LED ambient lighting that spruces up the interior.
As for its name, Volkswagen stated that the concept was named First Decade as this is the 10th GTI built and designed by apprentices'. Previous examples made by the company include the 2008 Golf GTI Performance which gets gull-wing doors and air suspension, 2012 Golf GTI Black Dynamic with decorative foil and embossed GTI logos and the 2014 Golf GTI Wolfsburg Edition that features Wolfsburg silhouettes inside and out as such.