It’s that season again, where car companies hit the auto shows and roll out their new concept cars. Volkswagen has decided, this year, to show off a high-end Golf… and it’s a pretty impressive car, concept or not.
First of all, it’s got a top speed of 174 mph, which is kind over the top for a hatchback that shuttles kids and groceries more often than superspies. That comes courtesy of the turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine. Yes, we said it was a four-cylinder engine. This is Volkswagen, they’re going to squeeze every bit of power out of each cylinder they can get, and this has 395 horsepower.
Carbon Fiber, Of Course
Beyond that, oddly, the changes Volkswagen are willing to talk about are mostly cosmetic. For example, the suspension has a few minor tweaks, mostly lowering the body slightly, but it’s actually the same one you’ll find in the standard Gold R at the dealership. The body weight is of course absurdly light; to get those kinds of speeds off that kind of engine, it’d have to be. It’s just slightly over a ton and a half in terms of weight, which makes it easier to zip around and helps improve the handling, which is already tight.
A Concept You Might Actually Drive
Probably the most unusual thing about this concept car is that you might actually get behind the wheel of it and drive it off a lot sooner rather than later. While a few parts might need to be swapped out and the weight increased slightly, this is fairly close to a production vehicle in of itself. OK, so turbocharging a Golf is really more for advertising purposes than anything else, but we have to admit, having a car this speedy and responsive in the driveway would be fun no matter what.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.