In 2007 Volkswagen showed the world this Golf GTi W12 650 Concept. The car was put together from parts found across the Volkswagen group. It took a Mk V Golf bodyshell and squeezed a Bentley engine into the boot, added a Phaeton gearbox, RS4 front brakes and Gallardo rear brakes and axle.
The concept was put together for no reason other than the then VW chairman Ferdinand Piech loved it and VW wanted to out-GTi every other car at a GTi festival in Wörthersee, Austria.
The stats were as impressive as the GTi W12's looks. The engine was a twin turbo, 6 litre, W12 (obviously) taken from the Bentley Continental which produced 650bhp and 552lb ft of torque. 0-62mph took 3.7 seconds whilst top speed was 202mph. And it was rear wheel drive.
The roof was carbon fibre and the engine, sitting where the back seats would normally be, was shrouded in more carbon fibre. Behind the engine cover were two large cooling fans. The car had to be widened by 150mm to accommodate the enormous W12 lump.
The interior was pretty much standard Golf (albeit in white leather - those crazy Germans) with a row of switches (one of which activated a plumbed-in fire extinguisher) and dials (monitoring the turbos and exhaust) atop the dash.
Sadly the Golf W12 was never destined to make it into production but it was fantastic that such a mainstream car company would make such an outlandish concept, that actually worked - see the video under the photos for evidence of that.
The only concepts we see now are either almost production ready cars that the manufacturers makes just to give the public an appetite for it's forthcoming model, or electric cars, hybrids or crossovers. Where are the really insane cars? Sadly their nowhere to be seen.
The Volkswagen group owns Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bugatti, Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche, as well as the Volkswagen brand itself. Just think of the one-off concepts and ideas that could come from the parts bin of that lot.
They could make an Audi A3 Sportback with the Veyron's engine or a Lupo with a flat 6, 3.6 litre from a 911. How about a four wheel drive Skoda Octavia estate with the 500bhp 4 litre V8 from a Bentley Continental? The possibilities are almost unlimited.
The VW Polo R WRC was a good effort but it does have a rather weedy 1.4 litre engine. The most recent concepts from VW themselves have been the Taigun (a small SUV crossover), the Golf GTi concept (just ahead of launch), the Golf Bluemotion concept (yawn, a 1.6 litre TDi), the E-Bugster concept (electric) and the Cross Coupe TDi (diesel).
Audi concepts have been the same - almost production ready SUVs, electric cars and hybrids. Boring.
At least Audi give us some decent cars from their model line up with the S and RS models.
Yes, peak oil is on the horizon and global warming is accepted as mainstream thinking but the world is a more boring place without bonkers cars. All hail the Golf W12 650 Concept - the last of the crackers concepts.