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Models and Technology

The GTI-Trio from Reifnitz

Huge GTI festival at Wörthersee – Volkswagen showcased three new GTI models to a captive audience.

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The Wörthersee team of trainees from Wolfsburg with the Golf GTI Next Level: (from left to right) Maximilian Klar, Florian Dimt, Maximilian Purrucker, Vincent R. Siermann, Patrick Schilling, Maurice-Christian Ziesmann, Nico Sennhenn, Marc Fitzlaff, Thomas Zechmeister, John Rowland, Sarah Unversagt; on the driver’s side: (from left to right) Marie-Kristin Schildwächter, Anna-Katharina Heumann, Sandra Dombrowski, Lina Bosse, Henny Stegmann, Tina Geißler, Lena Volk, Project Manager Holger Schülke and Frank Sabisch.

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The trainees from Zwickau, Chemnitz and Dresden showcased the Golf Variant TGI GMOTION: (from left to right) Laura Saller, Marius Neumeister, Elisabeth Trompelt, Tom Dubielczyk, Laura Hofmann, Simon Boguslawski, Benjamin Liebold, Hannes Flade, Dennis Leuthäuser; on the driver’s side: (from left to right) Denise Zeißler, Laura Wagner, Tobias Siebert and Tobias Kalbas.

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The new top model in the GTI family recently celebrated its world premier in Wörthersee: introducing the 213 kW/290 bhp Golf GTI TCR Concept¹. This super GTI will be hitting the streets of Europe before the end of the year. Its impressive stats include peak speeds of 250 km/h, which the prototype still known as the Golf GTI TCR Concept has achieved consistently in pre-production tests. And then there’s its maximum torque of 370 newton meters, which it creates between 1,600 and 4,300 rpm. Those keen to get even closer to the race version are sure to be interested in the performance package: this is where the Golf GTI TCR boasts maximum speeds of 264 km/h, 19-inch wheels, and a chassis set 20 millimeters deeper for that authentic racing feel – even on the streets!

It was the star of the show at the Volkswagen stand for the 37th GTI meeting in Reifnitz – the new Golf GTI TCR.

But this prototype, which is almost ready for production, also had two very special GTI exhibits alongside it: the Golf GTI Next Level from Wolfsburg and the Golf Variant TGI GMOTION from Zwickau. These two GTIs allowed the trainees to show what they were really made of.

A long-standing tradition: this was the 11th time that Volkswagen trainees have showcased their special GTI show cars to fans at the legendary Wörthersee event. These are "their" GTIs. After all, the 15 trainees from Wolfsburg and 14 from Zwickau were the ones who deve­loped them and got them on the road. The Wolfsburg team presented the 302 kW/411 bhp Golf GTI Next Level, featuring an app control for the video game monitor. The trainees from Saxony revealed the Golf Variant TGI GMOTION with its 96 kW/131 bhp natural gas all-wheel drive.

These one-of-a-kind Golf models were put together in barely nine months. When designing the interiors and exteriors, the young men and women were able to put their skills and craftsmanship from 12 different trades into practice. They also made use of digital development and production methods, such as CAD construction and 3D-printing technology. What’s more, they even programmed applications for controlling special vehicle functions via smartphones or tablets. For 20-year-old Lena Volk, the GTI project was a resounding success, and the highlight was featuring at the GTI meeting in Wörthersee. The aspiring automotive interior fitter from Wolfsburg says, "I love that we have access to these creative opportunities. Even on this project, there have been some incredible chances to express ourselves and bring our ideas to life. It really is a whole lot of fun."

When Mark Czelnik arrives at his workstation in Hall 90b in Wolfsburg, he is greeted by a whole host of flashing lights as his desk is surrounded by an array of control devices. These are actually freely programmable instrument clusters (FPKs), which are perhaps better known as Active Info displays. "It’s like having our very own test bench," explains the project manager, who is responsible for ensuring the display is always under development to feature the latest technology.

"We need the right innovations at the right time," notes Czelnik, who has been involved with the electrical/electronic development of instrument clusters since 2015. It wasn’t too long ago that the first Active Info display featured in the Passat. Within the company, this was known as the "FPK Standard." Then came the next level in the form of the "FPK Entry," with the Active Info display in the Polo or T-Roc. The Development team is made up of 16 employees from the Quality Assurance, Design, and Electronic Development divisions. And then there’s Czelnik, who puts it all together: "As far as we’re concerned, there’s no such thing as can’t. We’re always working together to find a solution and most of the time we find one."

This is exactly what happened with the FPK Entry. The first fully digital instrument cluster used not only by the brand, but also by the entire Group, takes drivers on a real journey. Relaxed, and without even worrying about distractions, they can follow the widescreen map view on the navigation screen. Behind the steering wheel, a virtual map takes over the entire screen. Drivers can use the zoom function to take a closer look at details or simply let the map glide across the screen.

GTI – Cool Inside and Out

The Active Info display proved yet another crowd pleaser for GTI fans in Wörthersee. Mark Czelnik and his team have incorporated this innovation into the Polo GTI², the Golf GTI³, and even into the T-Roc. But these were not their first Active Info displays: Work on the Golf R Touch began well over three years ago.

But the best feature is that every driver can set their display up in the way that suits them best. Those who prefer the traditional look can select the standard view with a rev counter and speedometer. "But for those who like to put on a bit of a show, there’s the ‘Center Stage,’ as we call it," explains Czelnik. Music takes over the full width, the rev counter and speedometer are over to one side, and all other information is in the middle. The "Special View" personalizes things further still, as the infotainment music selection appears right in the middle and drivers can then choose what they’d like to see on the left and right, from the travel time, map, and assistance systems.

To have a project like this ready in two years called for the courage to take risks. "Otherwise we’d just never have done it," notes Czelnik. The trend toward large displays seems to have come over from the USA, recalls the 32-year-old. "Our Active Info display really has been something of a success story. The new display is so much easier to read." And more personalized, too: anyone who steps into their GTI is greeted by a display with a red border and italicized digits. Every car has its own matching display. And for GTE derivatives, there’s even an E-version in the making. Czelnik talks through the highlight of the premium Active Info display version in the new Touareg⁴: "This is the first time we’ve incorporated glass. Active Info displays like this are set to be the future."

"We need the right innovations at the right time."