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Volkswagen Design Vision GTI: First Look.

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Volkswagen unveiled its annual concept car at the Wörthersee festival, and fans were delighted to see the race inspired "Design Vision GTI," a concept based on the seventh-generation GTI.

Headed by Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen's Head of Design, the design team gave the Design Vision GTI a race worthy body – they widened the front and rear, lowered the chassis, added 20-inch alloy wheels (with race honed 235 tires in the front and 275s at the rear), and set back the headlamps, creating a "sunken in" appearance to the front fascia. The sculpted body is cloaked in white with red and black accents and the rear is caped off with a simple diffuser.

Inside, the design team decided to follow a more minimalistic aesthetic philosophy. As part of the project, Tomasz Bachorski, Head of Volkswagen Interior Design, told the designers to focus on a styling that is: "Pure GTI. Concentrate on the truly essential. But with style." In response, the amount of switches and knobs in the Design Vision GTI is kept as small as possible – making the GTI concept more ergonomic for driving at high speeds. In the carbon fiber fitted center console, the designers placed the climate control, hazard light switch, and a large GPS display.

Other race inspired touches the VW design team added include an X-shaped cross member that stiffens the body, red loop door handles (similar to Porsche Cup rally cars), and for those wishing to share their racing highlights, the Design Vision GTI offers on-board cameras on the interior and exterior of the car.

The Design Vision GTI is as fast as it looks, with a twin-turbocharged, direct-injection TSI engine to drive the compact powerhouse. The 3.0-liter V6 engine is capable of delivering 503hp, 369-lbs of torque. It allows the GTI concept to get to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 186 mph. To control this beast, VW's design team fitted the chassis with carbon-ceramic brake discs, and a four-speed race tuned transmission.

"The design team's brief was to give a spectacular glance into the future of the GTI," said Klaus Bischoff. After giving the concept a brief look-over, we say that Bischoff's team achieved this goal with flying colors. We just hope the stunning Design Vision GTI will not stay a concept for long.

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