Volkswagen has fitted a 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine to its Golf GTI to create a one-off super-hatch faster than most supercars, writes JEZ SPINKS.
Fitting a big engine to a small car is the classic method of creating a hot-hatch, but Volkswagen has taken the formula to the extreme with a Golf GTI that's quicker than a Ferrari F430.
Volkswagen built the one-off Golf GTI W12-650 to display at this month's annual GTI festival, held in Austria.
As the name suggests, this super-hatch is powered by a W12 engine that delivers an almighty 478kW.
The twin-turbocharged engine - effectively two V6 engines linked together - is borrowed from the VW Group's very exclusive $375,000 Bentley Continental GT super-luxury coupe. However, it generates more power (up 67kW) and torque (up 99Nm to 749Nm).
This unique GTI sprints from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds - 0.2sec quicker than Porsche's 911 Turbo and 0.3sec quicker than Ferrari's F430. It's also 15km/h and 10km/h faster respectively with a claimed potential top speed of 325km/h.
These times smash Volkswagen's fastest production Golf, the 184kW R32, into the weeds. By comparison, the R32 tops out at 250km/h and takes 6.2 seconds to reach 100km/h from standstill. And the regular, 147kW GTI? Pah! Its respective figures are 235km/h and 6.9sec.
Unlike the front-drive GTI and all-wheel-drive R32, the aggressively styled GTI W12-650 sends its ridiculous power to the rear wheels, via a six-speed automatic. The engine is also mid-mounted, unlike the front-engined GTI and R32.
Cooling for the big engine is provided by both an air scoop integrated into the carbonfibre roof and side-mounted vents positioned ahead of the rear wheels.
Getting the monster engine into the little Golf is no easy task. The body has been widened 160mm, and a 70mm-lower ride height and underfloor aerodynamic aids help keep the car stable at high speed.
VW's super-hatch sits on wide, 19-inch wheels featuring similar-looking alloys to the standard, 17-inch-tyred GTI.
VW doesn't supply a fuel economy figure for the GTI W12. It's probably best not to ask.