Crazy hardly even begins to describe this widebody Golf.
The regular Volkswagen Golf may be no more in the US, but the GTI and Golf R hot hatchbacks live on. This won't change anytime soon. Both are very impressive performance vehicles but neither are as crazy as what VW introduced 14 years ago in May at the GTI Festival in Worthersee, Austria. The GTI W12-650 was described at the time - and remains so today - as the ultimate hot hatch concept car. The reason why is very clear.
A bunch of VW engineers decided to drop a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 from the Bentley Continental GT into a fifth-generation GTI. The team began with the car's original production body, including the doors, hood, and lights, and went from there. They quickly realized the engine was too big for the Golf's engine bay originally designed to accommodate a tiny turbo four-cylinder.
Instead, they repositioned the W12 behind the driver, resulting in a mid-engine GTI. All of that extra power required the team to scavenge through VW Group parts catalogs. The rear axle and brakes were sourced from a Lamborghini Gallardo, the front brakes from an Audi RS 4, and a gearbox from the VW Phaeton sedan. The body had to be widened by 6.3 inches and the suspension lowered by about three inches.
A set of huge tires measuring 12-inches wide at the rear and nine inches up front were also deemed necessary. This was also done to prevent the finished product from ripping itself (and its driver) apart. Styling-wise, the rear windows were reshaped, a new rear bumper was added, and the front air intake section was enlarged.
The interior was also upgraded with black Alcantara leather and transparent switch guards for core functions. The door liners were eliminated to shave weight, though a fire extinguisher placed in the glove compartment was definitely a smart idea. This one-off and mechanically functional concept had around 641 horsepower, only slightly less than today's Lamborghini Urus.
Zero to 60 mph happened in less than 4 seconds and top speed was 201 mph. A lot has happened in the auto industry in the past decade and a half, and VW is fully aware it'll never build a GTI quite like this one.