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.


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  • 29 Comments
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      My carbon fiber bike frame weighs less than 4 pounds and allows me to pedal at high speeds over rough roads. Its strength to weight is amazing, we just need a way to speed up carbon fiber manufacturing to make it affordable for more applications.
      William
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Carbon TDI! ...Carbon TDI!"
      Revs29k
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great idea VW, put me down for one! I'm working hard to add to my Carbon Fiber Footprint.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Tabs Luther
      • 2 Years Ago
      I agree about it making more sense to do this to the scirocco since you know the price is going to skyrocket. I am guessing a project with this much focus on driver involvement probably wont make it to the states? Hell id just be happy with being able to see a Scirocco on our shores. Beautiful car
      ThinkAboutIt
      • 2 Years Ago
      [Open] VW board meeting: Chairman: "What is BMW doing ?" VP of reverse discombobulated engineering: "Carbonfiber" Chairman: "Ok, we'll do that too then" [End]
      domingorobusto
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really like the idea, but it is insane to me that with all of that ridiculously expensive work it's still going to be over 2400 lbs. If you did this to a similarly sized car from the mid 90s, that thing would be well under a ton. Damn you model bloat, damn you.
        turbomonkey2k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @domingorobusto
        Perhaps I can put this into terms you'll understand. This thing is FOUR HUNDRED and FORTY POUNDS LIGHTER! You can think of it as leaving your girlfriend home.
          akuma810
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          domingorobusto: you do know that modern cars are heavy due to safety features and strengthening of the chassis right? You will not find any 15 year old car with this weight, strength, and safety. So dont bother comparing.
          Georg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          @domingorobusto you know that the frist genration Golf GTI (the orginal 1.6l 4speed 110hp which wasnt sold in the USA) was 1782lbs ...300lbs LIGHTER than the first generation Miata... and 800lbs lighter than the current generation Miata All cars have become fat turkeys over the years..
          domingorobusto
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          Let me put it in terms YOU can understand. It's 440 lbs lighter and it's still TWO THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY POUNDS. That means that it's a small hatchback with tens of thousands of dollars of exotic materials in it that STILL WEIGHS AS MUCH AS A MIATA. A hatchback of this class even 15 years ago weighed around that much to start with, and if you put this much money's worth of high tech materials into one of those, it'd be FAR LIGHTER. I was simply lamenting the fact that modern cars have gotten so damn heavy, and you seem to have completely missed that point. Go obtain some reading comprehension and try again.
          Clark
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          Speak for yourself.
      Bobby_Sards
      • 2 Years Ago
      Talk about a stupid idea...its like using suede to make a baby's diaper
      ClementZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      CF in a compact? Wouldn't that blow up the prices to the point of ridiculousness for the class?
        Randy915
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ClementZ
        This is a concept car to demonstrate new CF production processes.
        slicecom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ClementZ
        Maybe for Americans, but Europe doesn't see compacts as cheap alternatives to larger cars, they see them as more practical cars.
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, they can actually do this. Amazing... If they did this for all their cars, economies of scale might help lower the price even more. My 1995 Saturn has lightweight plastic panels. Fiberglass would work well too. We have the technology to reduce the weight on these cars without impacting safety at all. Brakes might even work better with lighter vehicles.
        NissanGTR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        Everything about the performance of the car will improve.
      RONBO
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've always been a VW man...Still driving my 1960 Beetle !!! I like the GTI idea....I'm tired of getting burned by the asian rides...I gotta get one of these VW's..
        EVnerdGene
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RONBO
        I always got a laugh at car shows when a moron would say; "my next car is going to be an EV, because I am concerned for the environment." Then I'd ask 'what are you driving now'. Ans: "a 1960 VW bug." Oh, you mean a gross polluter ?
      Michael Williams
      • 2 Years Ago
      From what I have heard, the 2014 MkVII GTI will be getting around 260 horses, not 222 as claimed in the article. I have seen this reported in multiple news stories (http://wot.motortrend.com/we-hear-next-gen-volkswagen-gti-gets-260-hp-trick-front-differential-214559.html), as well as having heard it from a friend of mine who works at a VW dealership, who said that figure was confirmed within the past few weeks. Obviously I myself can't confirm that.
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