The mega Wörthersee GTI meet is dead | Top Gear
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The mega Wörthersee GTI meet is dead

VW-backed hot hatch festival won’t return as local Austrian community says it doesn’t align with sustainability targets

Published: 20 Feb 2023

Sad news for hot hatch fans the world over – the famous Wörthersee GTI meet is dead. Yep, after a covid-enforced three-year absence the festival won’t return, as the local municipality Maria Wörth has decided that it doesn’t align with its environmental policy.

The GTI Treffen has been running on the shore of Lake Wörth since 1982, and has been officially sponsored by Volkswagen since the mid-2000s. 

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“The history of this major event is inextricably linked to the district of Reifnitz and has brought many encounters, great fame and, last but not least, economic impulses to our community,” reads a statement released by the Maria Wörth community.

“At the same time, the enormous increase in participants over the years has shown the limits of possible growth and resilience of our community and the entire Wörthersee region.

Wörthersee GTI meet cancelled Top Gear

“The effects of climate change, the responsibility of political decision-makers for the preservation of ecosystems and the need to align actions at all levels according to the principles of sustainability make it necessary to place the future design under new premises.

“On the basis of these considerations, we can state that the municipality of Maria Wörth will no longer host any conventional major automotive events in the next few years.”

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So there you have it – no more Wörthersee GTI. The festival has attracted massive attention over the years, with VW itself producing several different Golf GTI-based concept cars specifically for Wörthersee. Particular favourites include 2014’s Golf GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo concept, 2013’s Golf Design Vision GTI concept and of course the 2007 Golf GTI W12-650.

Where do we go next then, GTI fans?

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