The Golf GTI Cabrio Austria with 333 PS is doubly significant: not only is it the first time Volkswagen apprentices have designed a cabriolet for the annual GTI Festival at Lake Wörthersee in Austria, it is also the first time that apprentices from Wolfsburg and Osnabrück have collaborated on a joint project. Thirteen apprentices from four professions have successfully built a two-seater in red and white, the national colours of the host country, which has been shown to GTI fans from across the world this week.
Automotive mechatronics technicians, vehicle interior fitters, technical model makers and paint technicians collaborated for a year, from early sketches to a world premiere in Kärnten, Austria. The four women and nine men, aged from 17 to 23, redesigned a standard Golf GTI Cabriolet to their own specification. In this case, the 2.0-litre engine produces 333 PS.
The apprentices produced their red and white colour concept with special attention to detail both inside and outside the vehicle: they chose Oryx White mother-of-pearl effect for the Cabriolet, with Flash Red stripes bordering the bonnet left and right, and on the vehicle’s sides. The exterior mirrors are painted red, as are the brake callipers. The apprentices further customised the vehicle’s interior, with details including black-red-white Recaro sports seats with red ‘Austria’ embroidering and red and white decorative trim, and white GTI lettering on the doors. The honeycomb mesh and air vent frames, the accented stitching on the leather steering wheel and the DSG gearbox’s boot are also red, as are the seat belts. Even the floor mats have red bordering.
‘I’ve learned a lot about project work, and how important team work is,’ said the trainee automotive mechatronics technician Kevin Hoffmann when speaking about his time as a member of the Wörthersee team. Together with his colleague René Eichenlaub, he swapped the Cabrio’s rear seats for a sound system with 11 loud speakers with 2,250 watt output.
The apprentices chosen for the team are among the best in their classes. Under the guidance of Project Manager Holger Schülke (Wolfsburg) and trainer Reinhard Bosse (Osnabrück), they planned the vehicle concept and created project plans. The young people selected diverse components from the Volkswagen Group’s range and negotiated with suppliers. The apprentices presented milestones of their ‘Wörthersee Project’ to members of the Board of Management and liaised with experts across the company. As a finishing touch, they christened their dream GTI Cabrio ‘Austria’.
Projects such as the Golf GTI Cabrio Austria allow Volkswagen to give its best apprentices an opportunity to extend their knowledge. The ‘Austria’ is the sixth apprentice-created GTI to celebrate its world premiere at Wörthersee.
Volkswagen UK is one of the country’s largest importers, accounting for almost one in ten of every car sold. The company sells a wide range of vehicles which range from compact city cars through the best-selling and renowned Golf, Polo and Beetle models, to luxury saloons and 4x4s.