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Meet the 400bhp Golf GTI with a massive stereo

Forget that 306bhp GTI: two more VW Worthersee stars have yet more power

Yesterday Volkswagen showed us a 306bhp Golf GTI, its headline act at the 2016 Worthersee Festival. But it won’t be alone in marking the GTI’s 40th birthday.

That’s because it will be joined by two concepts, both of them possessing even more power. Worthersee is an event that’s somewhat seminal in the world of VW tuning, after all.

Both are the work of VW apprentices, all of those aged between 20 and 26. So there’s a youthful theme running through the cars. The Golf GTI Heartbeat, for instance, has 394bhp, or a nice round 400ps. The engine is taken from the Golf R, but with a 33 per cent power hike applied to it. Why wouldn’t you feed more power than a Cayman GT4 through the front wheels of a Golf?

Traction, though, is presumably low on your list of concerns when you have a 1,360 watt stereo running through seven massive speakers. One resplendent in LED lights, at that. And you thought filling the vast majority of a hatchback with a sound system had died years ago. At Worthersee, it is very much alive.

The GTI Heartbeat gets the same bucket sports seats as the Nürburgring-bashing Golf GTI Clubsport S – albeit in a more gaudy colour scheme - clawing back some of the kilos added by that stereo, and the car itself comes in a particularly bold silver and grey two-tone inspired by the GTI’s trademark honeycomb grille.

There is a new Bilstein coilover suspension setup, while the whole thing sits on stocky 20-inch BBS alloy wheels. It’s VW seemingly channelling all the greatest desires of its owners’ modifying fantasies in one car.

Well, two cars. The apprentices’ second concept is the even bolder-hued Golf R Estate Performance 35, its name a nod to the 35 years Worthersee has been gathering keen VW owners together in Austria.

Despite its four-wheel-drive system, there’s a smidge less power than the Heartbeat (345bhp), while its much more luxurious loadbay has been used for yet more speakers.

There are 12 in total, blasting out the stereo’s 2,500 watts, with LED stars applied to the ceiling to give a nice ambient atmosphere to your mobile party. VW insists the cargo can still be used, and even possesses an electrically retractable boot floor, with a matching child’s bike to demonstrate its usefulness. Err, yeah.

Both are concepts, and we suspect they’ll remain that way, though the Performance 35 is perhaps a hint at how VW will update the Golf R to reinstate its place in the Golf hierarchy now you can buy a GTI with over 300bhp.

In the meantime, does the Heartbeat get your blood pumping?

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