Above all, this year's # ŠKODATrip promised more. More time, more cars, more passes, more fun for everyone. Therefore, two then three days - two to pure driving. So we had a day this time, the 34. GTI meeting, the Auto News Wörthersee 2015, to take effect on us in peace.
But with all the endorphin-filled euphoria, as we boarded the speedboat over the Wörthersee and arrived at the GTI port, the disillusionment overcame me at the meeting.
As in the previous year, the path was and is the destination for me. From Munich to Krumpendorf to Munich. The alpine panorama, the mountain passes, the Wörthersee - I could go up and down here forever. But more in a separate article.
And although I personally can not do much with the tuning scene and the GTI cult, I was naturally curious about the cars, the people, the scene.
GTI meeting 2015: Somehow little GTI
Big events are not my thing and if it comes to me but one, I usually take the role of the observer. So I let my eyes wander. Most of the time, however, I spotted something irrelevant, questionable and simply ugly. Shortly after arrival, I saw my personal highlight, a few meters from the landing stage: an unbacked VW Golf I GTI. Simple, youthful dignity dignified and timeless.
It was this Golf I GTI that breathed the spirit of the meeting that day. It is striking that there were a shockingly small number of GTIs. Sure, many other VWs were present, as were models from Audi, Seat or Škoda. And there is also diligent screwing, tinkering, optimization.
But passing Bentleys, a Mercedes-AMG GT S or A 45 AMG seemed a bit out of place as did the baby blue Porsche Panamera.
Since the actual scene meeting on Lake Wörthersee has long since run, when the official part begins, many have already left with their vehicles. Now it is up to the manufacturers to show what works and will probably never go into production. The GTI meeting is always a finger exercise by the VW Group in terms of design and performance.
And that is exactly the crux of the matter. The actual GTI meeting was hardly palpable, not to be felt. Audi, Seat, Škoda and VW present themselves at their stands, offer supporting programs and provide entertainment. But the former spirit of the Wörthersee meeting has evaporated.
About studies, concept cars & finger exercises
Nevertheless, it is interesting to see what the manufacturers offer. The most exciting thing for me personally was the Audi TT clubsport turbo concept and the Škoda Octavia RS 230. But the Škoda Fabia R5 Combi also has a certain appeal, not least because the R5 lettering on the rear almost looks like one RSLogo appears. And in the meantime, a Fabia RS seems quite within the bounds of possibility. Where was denied last year, there were now unconcrete statements this year.
Short swing to Ingolstadt: The Audi TT clubsport turbo concept was presented at the Audi stand, which gives one or two views of the following in technical matters, on the other hand the study may be understood as a foretaste of the new TT RS. The concept car already satisfies with the 2.5 TFSI five-cylinder, which is already used in the Audi RS Q3 and RS3.
The TT clubsport turbo concept was also granted the E-Turbo (EAV), which was already allowed to show in the Audi RS5 TDI how much potential there is in technology. 441 kW (600 PS) should be distributed as needed to all four wheels. The look is sharp, the side pipe a fine gimmick and the sound, which was to be heard when kicking on the stand, a pleasure.
It's just a shame that the whole thing will not go into production.
Very well in series is the Škoda Octavia RS 230. The ten more hp are hardly significant. More important, however, is the front-axle differential lock, which should provide more dynamics on cornering. The package as such is already known by the Golf VII GTI Performance and is said to be a good service.
In addition, the Czechs will be showing the Škoda Fabia Red & Gray Plus at their stand, which can score with visual enhancements, but lacks a boost in performance. Last year the Škoda Rapid Spaceback Red & Gray was already here, which was a pleasant finger exercise for the upcoming Monte Carlo.
Like last year, there was an apprentice car to see. The apprentices converted a Fabia to a pickup. The Škoda Fabia FUNstar offered not only a shiny checker plate cargo area, but also the obligingly overdriven music system. I could write now that I'm too old for that shit, but I found that silly with 18 too. But each his own.
What remains? Disillusionment.
On the whole, the spirit of the traditional GTI meeting has evaporated. Only a few colorful birds are still hanging around during the official event. The manufacturers of the Volkswagen Group oppose this and show what is at least theoretically conceivable and feasible. At a meeting dedicated to tuning and individualization, the studies are sometimes somewhat more radical than at the usual trade fairs. After all.
Let's hope that the GTI meeting 2016 35. Anniversary and the accompanying 40. Birthday of the Golf GTI reinforced again finds its own roots back.
Text: MvB Photos: Škoda Auto Germany (Enes Kucevic) / MvB