A 312kW hybrid Golf and a pure-electric Golf wagon built by Volkswagen apprentices are the highlight of this week's Volkswagen Group annual car show meeting on the banks of the Worthersee Lake in Austria.
Now in its 10th year of showcasing the work of its apprentices, the Worthersee meet this year is highlighted by the Golf GTI First Decade, a 300kW petrol-engined Golf supplemented by a rear-mounted 12kW electric motor to give three drive options.
The car, the first GTI with electric propulsion, is the work of 13 apprentices – five women and eight men – from six vocations within Volkswagen and its seat-manufacturing subsidiary Sitech, who built it in nine months.
Its highlight is the 300kW petrol engine driving the front wheels and a 12kW electric motor that engages the rear wheels. The two drivetrains can be used independently or combined using an app in a PC tablet or through the infotainment display using the MirrorLink connection.
The drivetrain design was to reflect the move by Volkswagen to zero-emissions vehicles. The rear-drive motor adds to its zero-emissions benefit with noiseless operation during parking manoeuvres and for short distances in residential areas or in congested traffic.
It also features regenerative braking that charges two batteries in the rear of the vehicle.
But the aesthetics are equally as impressive. The apprentices redesigned and then built the interior based on the colours of the lake and sky at Worthersee and then customised the exterior.
The two-door Golf is painted in Atlantic Blue Metallic and the doors and rear side panels have large areas of foil in the contrasting colour of Satin Ocean Shimmer. Stripes of glossy blue chrome foil underline the racing design.
During the creation of their dream GTI, our apprentices learn about the complexity and future challenges of automobile production.
Rally stripes on the bonnet and roof take up the composition of three blue tones with contrasting foils. The sporting presentation is underlined by the high-gloss black paintwork of the honeycomb radiator grille, clubsport rear spoiler and 20-inch alloy wheels.
The wheel rims from mb-Design are decorated by hubs painted in Ocean Shimmer. The starting number 10 on the C-pillars and the "First Decade" logo on the tailgate signal that this show car is the 10th Worthersee GTI from the Wolfsburg talent factory.
Inside, the electric driver's seat can be adjusted from an app on a smartphone or tablet and also has back massage profiles with a memory function.
The sports seats are handmade by Volkswagen's subsidiary Sitech. They feature titanium black Nappa leather and perforated Alcantara sections with blue stitching and an embossed "10" at the top of the seats.
The rear of the cabin has a premium audio system with 1690 watts from 11 speakers and a subwoofer. It also has a special rear hi-fi installation with LED lighting on a carbon-fibre covered base plate. The batteries and control electronics for the electric rear-axle drive system are installed under the base plate.
For the "First Decade", the 18- to 23-year-old apprentices completed part of the work rapidly and efficiently using digital technologies such as designing on graphic tablets; special components were designed on CAD computers; and production used advanced 3D printing technology.
Volkswagen's head of automotive technology training, Peter Christ, said: "During the creation of their dream GTI, our apprentices learn about the complexity and future challenges of automobile production".
The Golf GTE Variant impulsE was made by 14 apprentices and features a prototype battery with a capacity increased from 8.8kWh to 16.8kWh.
"They gain further experience in the use of digital technologies, the application of system technology and electro-mobility.
"This is why we choose our strongest talents and offer them the opportunity to learn from experienced instructors and experts from the entire company at an early stage."
The Golf GTE Variant impulsE was made by 14 apprentices and features a prototype battery with a capacity increased from 8.8kWh to 16.8kWh, effectively doubling the car's range in electric operation.
Externally, the car has unique five-tone matte paintwork in Oryx White, Apassionata Blue, Anthracite, Hallmark and St. James Red and has a bonnet with ventilation slats.
Inside it continues the colour scheme of the exterior with decorative trim painted in the same colours and the steering wheel, centre console, gear lever boot and door trim featuring blue decorative stitching.
Worthersee will also feature other cars from the Volkswagen Group and from private owners during the week.