At Wörthersee, the biggest Volkswagen Golf GTI gathering in the world, VW knows it can't bring any ordinary vehicle to show off. If it's going to debut a car, it needs to be special and unlike anything a regular aftermarket tuner could concoct. In 2019, a hologram tied into the audio system will do.
While many fans were popping their hoods to show off the engine mods they've fitted to their GTIs, VW popped the hatch on its Golf GTI Aurora Concept to show off a brand-new work-in-progress technology. The Aurora has a "holographic module" developed by Volkswagen Group Components that can actually control the 3,500-watt sound system. VW calls it a world first.
Unlike many virtual-reality gadgets these days, this hologram does not require any special extras to view it or use it. The hologram floats above the module and has several different "screens." It can switch from a GTI logo to a playlist to an equalizer to a traditional controller with volume, previous, stop, pause, play, and next buttons. There are no videos of the hologram in use, but it seems straightforward and intuitive. According to VW, it will be "some time" before the holographic system becomes available in any production capacity.
The hologram is not the only upgrade in the Aurora. It has additional displays in the center console that show vehicle data, which can also be controlled and followed with a tablet. Under the hood, the Nardo Gray and Deep Black Pearl Effect Aurora has a 2.0-liter engine that makes approximately 374 horsepower. An extra bodykit with a rear diffuser gives the car extra style.
Incredibly, the Aurora is one of two Wörthersee projects developed by VW apprentices. The Aurora came from a team from Wolfsburg, Germany, while a second vehicle, the Golf Estate FighteR2, came from a team out of Saxony, Germany.
The FighteR2 is a juiced-up version of the Golf R Estate3. It pairs a seven-speed DSG gearbox and all-wheel drive with a TSI engine that makes 396 horsepower, nearly 100 more than the Estate3. To match the bolstered power, the FighteR also has a beefy body kit that makes the car three centimeters wider on each side. It also has a rooftop light system, a rooftop 360-degree camera, and a custom-built sound system. VW says it plans to use the FighteR as a safety car at events on the Sachsenring circuit in Germany.
Hats off to both teams of apprentices on their fine work. It's not too often students get to debut technology for a brand.