The guidelines for the designers are straightforward and clear-cut. Klaus Bischoff: “The team was to allow for a spectacular glance into the future of the GTI – in other words, to realise a vision.”
Marc Lichte, Andreas Mindt and Philipp Römers, the same team who developed the latest Golf and the new GTI, also collaborated in the development of the “Design Vision GTI.”
By contrast, the colour concept of the “Design Vision GTI” follows the traditional GTI triad of “black –white – red.” The paint is white (“White Club”), the add-on parts are black (“piano paint black”), and the GTI insignia as well as the strip integrated in the front are red.
Probably the most concise feature is the C pillar in the side section designed as a detached element.
The back roof pillar, which has always been characteristic of the Golf and hence of the GTI, is drawn outward as an autonomous design element, while the body narrows more strongly toward the rear.
This process starts already right behind the front wheel with a vertical air outlet at the height of the front door joint. In parallel to that, the sill grows continually outward until its upper edge merges with the C pillar to spring forward again in the roof – a stylistic device that gives the spectacular shape of this GTI the necessary homogeneity.
A honeycomb grid, designed with the proverbial love for detail, closes the space between the widening and the body – a masterly achievement in terms of model building and attainable only with the help of computer-based technologies.
In a similar sculptural manner, the GTI design is varied in the front section. The radiator grille, the bottom air inlet and the side openings for the cooling of the brakes are combined with the headlights into a unit that is framed by an exactly defined edge.
The precision and straightforwardness of its lines again follow the Volkswagen design DNA. Grille and air inlets – although re-interpreted – consciously underscore its relatedness to the production GTI; thus the honeycomb structure in the grids is a natural and obvious stylistic device.
The so-called “blades” are an especially prominent detail, emphasising as spoiler edge the sculptural character of the front in the bottom area.
A shining core element of any front design is the headlights, for which the designers adopted the look of the production GTI.
The concept car shows options of how headlights and radiator grille could look in the future: The red line typical for the GTI front divides the headlights of the “Design Vision GTI” horizontally.
In the bottom half, the visual elements are set back; the design gives the “eyes” somewhat of a dramatic depth – an innovative variation of the “evil eye” popular with GTI up-daters.
The long and wide hood, whose lines extend sideways right into the bottom border of the side window graphics and toward the back up to the C pillar, thus making the body look longer and more powerful, makes a definitely self-assured impression – a design feature that also distinguishes the production version of the new GTI from all its predecessors.
The hood itself has an outside lid joint at exactly the same height as the horizontal all-round line that is typical for the Golf VII – a design motif with which the new Golf quotes the classic Golf I.
Analogous to the front end, an all-round precise edge makes for a consistent picture in the rear as well. The integration of the rear spoiler is the same as for the production car, while the aerodynamically conceived ribs of the rear diffuser dominate at the bottom end; the diffuser is framed by the silencer end pipes.
The design of the tail lights is well-known as an element of the Golf light signature typical for the brand. What‘s new here are the two horizontal “blades” arranged underneath that connect the rear and the drawn out side part with each other.
Like with the exterior, the typical charisma of a GTI should is adopted in the interior as well – consistently sporty and fit for active driving yet cultivated when it comes to design features.
Tomasz Bachorski, Head of Volkswagen Interior Design, explains the concept behind the team briefing: “Pure GTI. Concentration on the truly essential. But with style.”
The interior design team – including Boris Grell, Jan Haacke and Guillermo Mignot – also worked on many production interiors – from the up! to the Phaeton.
The notion of “reduced design” – so popular with designers – has been radically applied. And this means: As few switches as necessary, and the ones that are left are arranged precisely and in such a way that they can still be operated intuitively even with a very sporty driving style.
Thus the steering wheel is equipped with ergonomically optimised DSG gear shift paddles. The driving mode switches are located (“Street,” “Sport” and “Track”) under the cross panels; the start button is on the right.
The designers have integrated the switches and rugged turn knobs for climate control as well as the hazard light switch and the activation of the on-board camera in the upper section of the centre console A
vehicle main switch, a push-button for the fire extinguisher and the ESP deactivation are underneath, features that are typical for racing cars. The bottom part of the centre console is dominated by the DSG gear shift – it consists of a vertical handle with dynamic contours, as in racing.
The shapes of the dashboard and the centre console correspond to the well-known GTI interior in their configuration; they are arranged, though, in an even more driver-oriented way, as in motor racing.
The surfaces are more taut, the edges harder and more precisely formed. The technical impression is reinforced by the partial use of carbon. Moreover, alcantara in “Anthracite” and “Titan Black” as well as nappa leather in “Black” and “Flash red” dominate the interior.
One detail on the doors is a handle in the shape of a red loop – reminiscent of the Porsche Cup models.
The space of the back seats is taken by an X-shaped cross member, which heightens the body stiffness another notch up. The seat belt retractors for the red suspender belts are integrated into the cross member. In the meantime, two black integral helmets are stored away close at hand under the cross member.
All purism notwithstanding – the designers also show how they imagine networking the “Design Vision GTI” with the social community: A large display to the right of the main instruments also shows the circuit in question and supplies information about the times driven.
The display communicates with other vehicles on the course and calculates the details about the current status of the race in real time. Anybody wanting to have the community take part in the race can direct the cameras integrated into the A pillar either to the track or in the interior.
Klaus Bischoff again: “The design of the interior is the area where we expect unusual technical and formal innovations. That‘s where we set the trends.”