Volkswagen GTI grille

Autocar reports Volkswagen may be working on a lightweight version of the GTI as a tribute to the model's bare-bones ancestry. Dubbed "Carbon GTI," the model is said to make use of a range of new manufacturing techniques to incorporate a heap of carbon fiber and aluminum wherever possible. Pieces like the bulkhead, windshield frame and floor panels are all expected to be hammered from lightweight alloy while the hood and roof will be stitched from the composite. All told, the changes should shave around 440 pounds from the chassis, resulting in a curb weight in the neighborhood of 2,480 pounds.

Word has it VW will leave the drivetrain untouched from the upcoming Mark VII GTI, which means buyers can expect to find the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood good for around 222 horsepower (the 2012 model makes do with an even 200 horses). Even so, the Weight Watchers treatment should help the Carbon GTI slim its 0-60 dash to below six seconds.

The model may be a test platform for manufacturing techniques that Volkswagen plans to employ on the next-generation Audi MLB platform. The German automaker will likely spread the cost of developing the machine across greener Golf iterations, including a hybrid and an electric model.