A new one-off show car concept from Volkswagen has just dropped cover, and it boasts a sensational two-tone paint scheme, an ear-bleed-inducing 3,500-watt stereo system, and nearly 180 extra horsepower. It’s called the GTI Dark Shine, and it was put together over the course of nine months by a group of 17- to 25-year-olds taking part in a VW training program. Making its world debut at the 34th annual Worthersee enthusiast car show in southern Austria, the results speak for themselves.

"By working on the Worthersee GTI project, our apprentices learn about the complexity of automobile production," says Dr. Stefan Kreher, Head of Volkswagen Vocational Training. "The project offers especially talented young people an opportunity to learn from experienced colleagues from the entire company at an early stage."

The 13-member team worked with experts throughout the build, but planned and executed almost every step of the process on their own. An estimated 150,000 gearheads were in attendance at Worthersee, giving the young group a sizable audience to showcase their skills.

Read on to see what they did.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine.

  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    388
  • Torque @ RPM:
    359
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine High Resolution Exterior
- image 630260

When the apprentice team first got its Golf, the car was as plain-Jane as you could imagine – stock body, draped in white.

Essentially given a blank slate, the team got to work by adding a variety of distinctive touches that add up to create something very special looking. The car is covered in a two-tone color scheme, incorporating a muted Daytona Grey Metallic in the front and R-yellow pearl in the rear, lending it the moniker “Dark Shine.”

The car is covered in a two-tone color scheme, incorporating a muted Daytona Grey Metallic in the front and R-yellow pearl in the rear, lending it the moniker “Dark Shine.”

The contrasting colors meet in the middle of the vehicle amidst a collection of offset stripes and arrows, seen prominently in the flanks and along the hood and roof. Accent lines can be found stretched along the shoulder line in the sides, through the front grille and into the headlights, and along the perimeter of the wheels. The yellow is also extended to the brake calipers. The new color scheme was entirely hand-painted, seeing a good deal of sanding and polish to perfect the finish.

Design-wise, the look is ideal for a show car. The body panels, handsome and uncluttered from the factory, remain completely unaltered, but with the new paint job, the whole car gives off a confident flair of “customized.”

In the rear, for example, the grey stripe along the roof hatch accentuates the small trailing roof spoiler, extending the car visually, while the forward-slanted stripes in the profile make the car appear racked, pushing it forward aggressively. This is added to by the tucked stance from the dropped suspension, large wheels and low-profile tires, as well as the smoked taillights.

Interior

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine Interior
- image 630272

Open the door, and you’ll see the grey-and-yellow color scheme continued. The front seats come from Recaro, with upholstery done in a grey leather that matches the Daytona half of the exterior. The rear bench is also done in grey. The central tunnel is covered in a titanium black-colored Alcantara material, while the side bolsters and backrests on the Recaros are covered in black carbon leather. You’ll find yellow lettering with the GTI logo on the bucket seats, plus contrasting yellow stitching. There’s also yellow piping around the perimeter of the seats.

Sprinkled throughout the cabin and in various spots on the exterior you’ll find the German phrase “Der See ruft…”, which translates to “the lake calls,” referencing the car’s debut at Worthersee.

The doors have also been reupholstered, and brandish more GTI logos. Meeting the driver’s hands is a multi-function steering wheel wrapped in titanium black Alcantara, marked in the 12 o’clock position, with the yellow used for the surrounds of each of its three spokes and the offset stitching. Yellow accents can also be found in the shift boot, air vent surrounds, gauge cluster surrounds and instrument needles.

Sprinkled throughout the cabin and in various spots on the exterior you’ll find the German phrase “Der See ruft…”, which translates to “the lake calls,” referencing the car’s debut at Worthersee.

And since high-end stereo components are practically required just for entry at such car festivals, the Dark Shine GTI was outfitted with a top-of-the-line 3,500-watt audio system.
This is comprises eight speakers in the cabin and three subs in the hatch, with the central subwoofer lit by LEDs and partially contained in glass. The amplifier is also nicely lit, recessed in the trunk under a glass covering. It’s all extremely clean and precise, exactly what you’d expect from a show-winning entry. Controlling the uber-audio is an external tablet interface.

Drivetrain

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine Exterior
- image 630268

Powering the GTI is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder TSI engine, which produces 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque when new off the assembly line. However, the Dark Shine’s powerplant has been modified to lay down 389 horsepower and 359 pound-feet of torque, with peak torque available at 4,700 rpm.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a new turbo and several external supporting mods as well, but that’s up for speculation.

Details on what went into creating this pumped-up output are a bit sparse, but we do know there’s a good deal of breathing changes. On the intake side of things is a carbon-fiber air box, while past the cylinders is a handcrafted stainless-steel exhaust system with enlarged, black-tailpipe trim.

The ECU gets a custom tune, while the intercooler and turbo downpipe both get upgrades. The DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox also gets a few tweaks to the control unit for what I can only assume to be more aggressive shifts.

While extensive, I’m not convinced the above list is enough to liberate some 179 horsepower and 101 pound-feet of torque from the 2.0-liter four. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a new turbo and several external supporting mods as well, but that’s up for speculation.

Delving into the VAG parts bin, the team also fitted the Dark Shine with eight-piston brakes from an Audi RS Q3 up front, plus single-pots from an Audi RS6 in back. Gotta love that modular fitment.

Conclusion

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine High Resolution Exterior
- image 630262

At first glance, the Dark Shine looks up to par with the vast majority of professional show car builds currently making the rounds. The exterior could have used some custom body panels, but the maintenance of the stock lines (probably a mandate from VW) highlights just how much the two-tone paint design enhances the factory body. It looks aggressive and sporty without throwing on 10 grand of carbon-fiber aero, and that’s impressive by itself.

It looks aggressive and sporty without throwing on 10 grand of carbon-fiber aero, and that’s impressive by itself.

The interior is also well executed, with quality materials, cohesion with the exterior colors, and one badass mother of a stereo. It’s street performance without the usual over-the-top fiberglass extras, enhancing what’s already there without getting tacky.

Finally, the performance upgrades are very much appreciated. Most show queens get a few odds and ends that are installed to a) give the under-hood appearance greater visual appeal and b) make it sound good. This GTI actually got a substantial wallop of power, matching the car’s go to all that extra show.

Not bad for a team of “apprentices.” In fact, it makes you wonder why VW doesn’t just hand the reins over to the young blood immediately. The group included two paint technicians, four vehicle interior fitters, four automotive mechatronics technicians, one media designer, and two process technicians specializing in plastics and rubber engineering.

The Dark Shine joins a growing list of Worthersee GTIs that have given budding VW employees the chance to hone their skills since 2008. Other apprentice team creations include the GTI Performance (2008), GTI Street (2009), GTI Yellow Pearl (2010), GTI Reifnitz (2011), GTI Black Dynamic (2012), GTI Cabrio Austria (2013), and GTI Wolfsburg Edition (2014).

You can bet there’ll be another GTI delivered to a fresh group of recruits this fall for the 2016 event. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

  • Leave it
    • Body panels are stock

Press Release

They have followed the call of the lake: 13 Wolfsburg apprentices from Volkswagen and group company Sitech Sitztechnik have traveled to the 34th Wörthersee GTI meeting today to present their 395 PS (290 kW) Golf GTI Dark Shine to the public for the first time. Their sporty two-door Golf features a two-tone color scheme. The front is painted in dark Daytona Grey Metallic and the rear in unique R-yellow pearl effect – giving rise to the name "Dark Shine".

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine High Resolution Exterior
- image 630260

The Golf GTI Dark Shine is impressive confirmation of the high-quality practically oriented training provided by Volkswagen. From the initial idea to today’s world premiere at Reifnitz with an estimated audience of 150,000 car enthusiasts, the budding vehicle paint technicians (2), vehicle interior fitters (4), automotive mechatronics technicians (4), media designers (1) and process technicians specializing in plastics and rubber engineering (2) planned almost every step themselves, exchanged ideas, tried them out and realized the best. The 17 to 25-year-olds developed considerable specialist knowledge and skills. The four women and nine men grew into a strong team; Dr. Stefan Kreher, Head of Volkswagen Vocational Training, and project manager Holger Schülke are proud of them.

"By working on the Wörthersee GTI project, our apprentices learn about the complexity of automobile production," says Kreher. During the creation of their dream GTI, our budding specialists cooperated with experts from a variety of different professional families. Kreher: "The project offers especially talented young people an opportunity to learn from experienced colleagues from the entire company at an early stage."

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine High Resolution Exterior
- image 630261

Last fall, the 13 apprentices received a body in white in Wolfsburg; over a period of about nine months, they then made optical and technical modifications to create their dream GTI on the basis of the standard Golf GTI Performance1 in line with their own ideas. The modified 2.0-litre TSI engine develops 395 PS (290 kW). Maximum torque of 487 Newton-meters is available at 4,700 rpm. The stainless steel exhaust system with enlarged tailpipe trims is hand-crafted. The unique GTI also features a carbon air box. The intercooler and the control units for the engine and the DSG dual-clutch gearbox have been specially adapted.

As regards the appearance of their show car, the team members selected an expressive two-tone color scheme. The front of the car is painted in Daytona Grey Metallic and the rear in R-yellow pearl effect, creating a dark-bright contrast between front and rear. Two offset arrow-shaped R-yellow pearl effect stripes run over the bonnet and to the rear third of the roof. At the rear of the roof, up to the roof spoiler, these stripes are then painted in Daytona Grey Metallic, contrasting with the roof itself. In addition, stripes and arrows on the side of the vehicle provide accents. The "Dark Shine" is entirely hand-painted, and was sanded down and polished several times to ensure a perfect paint finish with smooth transitions.

Many details in the interior take up the color scheme: the leather upholstery of the Recaro bucket seats and the bench rear seat is painted grey using a tone identical to the Daytona Grey exterior color. The central sections are covered in titanium black Alcantara and the side bolsters of the seats and backrests are covered in black carbon leather. In contrast, the GTI logos on the backrest of the bucket seats and the single or double felled seams are yellow. The bucket seats are also surrounded by restrained yellow piping. The multi-function steering wheel is covered in titanium black Alcantara, with the 12 o’clock marking, seams and spokes set off in R-yellow, together with the surrounds and needles of the instrument cluster.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine High Resolution Exterior
- image 630262

At the Wörthersee horsepower festival, a high-performance sound system is also essential. The unique GTI features a high-end audio system with a total output of 3,500 Watts. Eight speakers in the passenger compartment and three subwoofers in the rear deliver sound that is both powerful and crystal clear. The central subwoofer is lit by LEDs and partially glassed in. The amplifier, which also features lighting, is recessed in the floor of the trunk under a glass cover. The sound system can be controlled from a tablet computer.

Since 2008, Volkswagen has offered its best apprentices the opportunity to expand their specialist knowledge and to demonstrate their creativity and teamwork capabilities on projects like the Wörthersee GTI. The Golf GTI Dark Shine is the eighth apprentice GTI to make its world debut in Reifnitz. Its predecessors were also attractions at other public events such as the IdeenExpo in Hanover.

The Wörthersee GTI cars created by apprentice teams from Wolfsburg to date are:
Golf GTI Performance (2008), Golf GTI Street (2009), Golf GTI Yellow Pearl (2010), Golf GTI Reifnitz (2011), Golf GTI Black Dynamic (2012), Golf GTI Cabrio Austria (2013), Golf GTI Wolfsburg Edition (2014), Golf GTI Dark Shine (2015).

The members of the Wörthersee Team 2015 by training vocations are:
Vehicle interior fitters: Alexander Giesbrecht (25), Kay-Vivian Erhardt (17) – both Volkswagen, Alexander Roser (19) and Jana Peil (20) – both Sitech Sitztechnik. Vehicle paint technicians: Celine Raditsch (20), Darius Pesel (19). Automotive mechatronics technicians: André Haase (23), Samuel Pili (21), Jan Quiring (19), Julian Lucht (21). Media designer: Hendryk Riedel (20). Process technicians specializing in plastics and rubber engineering: Melina Svoboda (19), Sebastian Del Giudice (22).

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Dark Shine Exterior
- image 630263

Sitech Sitztechnik is the Volkswagen group company specializing in the development and production of vehicle seats.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: