Golf GTI Roadster Makes Debut in LA, Needs to Go into Production

Besides the R Variant and the HyMotion fuel cell car, Volkswagen also brought two crazy concept cars to the Los Angeles Auto Show, both being seen for the very first time on US soil.
Volkswagen Golf GTI Roadster and R400 Concepts 7 photos
Photo: Newspress
Golf GTI Roadster and R400 ConceptsGolf GTI Roadster and R400 ConceptsGolf GTI Roadster and R400 ConceptsGolf GTI Roadster and R400 ConceptsGolf GTI Roadster and R400 ConceptsGolf GTI Roadster and R400 Concepts
Of the two, the Golf R400 is the one that seems to have captured everybody's attention. Because Mercedes is selling a 360 hp hot hatch, everybody is buying into the unfounded rumors that a 400 hp Golf with a 2-liter turbo engine is on its way.

Setting popular beliefs on their heads is something we very much like to do here at autoevolution, which is why we're going to suggest the other concept in LA makes more sense. Say hello to the Golf GTI Roadster, which was never intended to go into production but definitely deserves to.

As you might have guessed from the GT logo on its side, this is another one of those Vision Gran Turismo concepts that is never supposed to go into production. But with almost 40 years behind it, the GTI brand deserves a car like this, one that gives access to the wind in your hair and a lady friend at your side, a poor man's supercar.

The GTI Roadster is actually more of a speedster, which means it's totally unsafe. Roll this thing over and your head will definitely hit the ground with deadly force. But how can you possibly roll something that's as low off the ground as a Lamborghini?

The time is definitely right to make a GTI roadster. Volkswagen had a similar idea a few years ago. It was called the BlueSport and it was supposed to go into production until Porsche decided to jump ship from the project. But the market has changed and now a turbocharged FWD roadster makes perfect sense, especially since the 2-liter TSI turbo of the GTI has the lowest lag of any big turbo engine in its class.

So how about it Volkswagen – can you chop the roof, lower the body and make the GTI powertrain dance topless? We think you can.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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