18/05/2007 00:00 | By By Ian Dickson

Revealed: 641bhp VW Golf GTi

The VW Golf GTi W12 (© Image © Volkswagen)

With 197bhp and a top speed touching 150mph, the Volkswagen Golf GTi can hardly be called slow.

But VW has released details of a more extreme version that makes even Ferraris and Lamborghinis look like over-priced shopping trolleys.

GALLERY: the hot VW Golf GTi W12

The VW Golf GTi W12 (© Image © Volkswagen)

This is the bonkers GTi W12, a heavily tweaked Golf that can churn out 641bhp and 530lb ft of torque. It goes without saying then that the performance will be exceptional; Volkswagen reckons this beast will do 0-62mph in a blurry 3.7 seconds, while the top speed is a supercar-defining 202mph. Providing this power is a 6.0-litre 12-cylinder engine as used in the Phaeton luxury cruiser, which has been tuned to give an extra 200bhp. Like any true exotic, the W12 engine is also mid-mounted to improve road holding, and the drive is channelled to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.

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The VW Golf GTi W12 (© Image © Volkswagen)

It almost seems unfair to call this car a Golf, though, because the only components the two share are the doors, lights and bonnet. But then no standard Golf could cope with the demands placed on the W12; to keep it glued to the road VW has eschewed a massive rear wing in favour of a carbon fibre roof which acts as a diffuser and sends downforce to the rear spoiler. The Golf is also wider than a standard GTi to house those very tasty 19-inch wheels and that mammoth engine, and it sits lower to the ground to keep it more stable at speed.

However, the bad news is that VW will almost certainly never build it.

Driven: the Volkswagen Golf GTi Edition 30
Buy a used VW Golf GTi from £600
Should VW make this special Golf? Have your say on our Message Boards


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