Volkswagen has revealed details of a hybrid-powered, four-wheel-drive Golf GTI putting out more than 400bhp.
The Golf GTI First Decade combines a 404bhp petrol engine linked to the front wheels and a 12kW (16bhp) 48-volt electric motor driving the rear wheels.
The drive systems can each work independently or in tandem, offering conventional front-wheel-drive or combined all-wheel drive modes for open-road driving as well as an all-electric rear-drive setting for short periods of urban driving.
Inexplicably, the drive modes can be selected via smartphone app as well as via the in-car settings menu. As can the driver’s seating position, so you can helpfully adjust the seat while being nowhere near it.
But the Golf GTI First Decade is unlikely to find its way to a showroom any time soon. It is part of the now annual tradition for VW apprentices to create their own vision of the GTI to be presented at the Wörthersee Treffen – a massive VW fan meet.
The week-long event in Austria sees huge numbers of VW GTI fanatics gathering to show off their own rides and pore over the latest official offerings from Wolfsburg.
For each of the last 10 years, a team of apprentices from the manufacturer have been tasked with creating a one-off GTI. This year the five women and eight men spent nine months designing and developing the First Decade, inspired by digital technologies and the advances in alternative propulsion.
As well as the unique hybrid drivetrain, the First Decade features an eye-catching blue and black paintjob inspired by the lake and sky at Wörthersee.
And because the team of apprentices are all aged between 18 and 23, it’s done away with the rear seats in favour a 1,690-watt sound system. Subtle.