My nan has a Golf. This looks nothing like my nan's car...
That's probably because your nan is trundling around in a 1.6-litre turbo diesel model, while the beast you see in front of you packs a World Rally-derived 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and two electric motors that combine to develop a face-melting 395bhp. A weekday shopping trolley this ain't.
Oh OK. Why does it look like a still from Gran Turismo?
Because the Golf GTE Sport Concept is exactly what it says on the tin. A concept. Top Volkswagen engineers and designers teamed up to create the fanciful hatchback for the annual VW meeting at Lake Worthersee in Austria. The event sees diehard tuning fans get together to show off their pimped machines, then Volkswagen arrives with something like this and makes everyone feel a bit worthless.
How fast is it?
Really fast. That 295bhp petrol engine and the two 113bhp electric motors hook-up to produce a Tarmac-munching 670Nm of torque. The result is a 0-100 kph sprint in just 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 280kph.
Despite the performance, Volkswagen eggheads claim that a 60kpl fuel consumption figure is achievable if driven sensibly.
That doesn't make any sense. How so?
The Golf GTE Sport Concept is like a pumped-up version of the Golf GTE hybrid car that is currently on sale now, meaning it can run on the lithium-ion battery pack for 50km. The addition of electric motors ensures that some of the load is taken off the petrol engine, thus reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency.
The fact that the bodywork is constructed almost entirely of carbon-fibre also means that weight is kept to an absolute minimum.
What is it like inside?
A little bit bonkers, as the enormous gullwing doors open up to reveal a stripped-out interior that resembles a futuristic fighter jet rather than your standard daily runaround. Two angular, carbon-microfibre-clad-clad buckets seats host the passenger and driver, while three separate flat-screens give a number of readouts.
The first, which is closest to the driver, displays the selected gear, while the two larger screens display boost, speed and energy recuperation of the electric motors.
The system can even be set up to offer a virtual indicator of the ideal driving line, meaning even track noobs can enjoy a blast around the Nürburgring.