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In pictures: the world’s greatest hot hatch festival

Worthersee Volkswagen FestivalThe Austrian town of Reifnitz on the side of Lake Worth, or Worthersee, has hosted the ‘GTI Treffen’ festival for 36 years. Originally a small meet of Volkswagen enthusiasts (just 100 cars attended the first event), more than 100,000 fans from all over Europe now head to the Alps at the end of May. We sent a snapper to the event and captured some of the weird and wacky VWs in attendance.

Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTIWorthersee Volkswagen Festival

If Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTIs are your thing, you’ll be well catered for at Worthersee. The event was first created to celebrate the original GTI, and there are still loads in attendance today. From the original example to modified ones like this bright yellow GTI, we can get behind the subtle look.

Mk3 Volkswagen Golf cabrioletWorthersee Volkswagen Festival

What were we saying about ‘subtle’? This modified third-generation Golf cabriolet is anything but. There really is something for everyone.

Audi A1Worthersee Volkswagen Festival

Although predominantly a Volkswagen show, there are other VW Group cars in attendance. Such as this interesting Audi A1, which we can barely see thanks to its camo look.

Audi 100Worthersee Volkswagen Festival

Brown with gold alloys doesn’t sound like a great look, but it works for us on this Audi 100.

Audi 50Worthersee Volkswagen Festival

The Audi 50 is what became known as the Volkswagen Polo… and the rest, as they say, is history. This fairly standard and incredibly tidy example received many admiring glances at Worthersee.

Volkswagen Passat CoupeWorthersee Volkswagen Festival

Remember when Passats were cool? This B1 generation Passat Coupe is closely related to the Audi 80 of the same era.

Mk1 Volkswagen GolfWorthersee Volkswagen Festival

In a town full of modified Vee-dubs, there’s something very refreshing about a pair of properly mint Mk1 Golfs as the factory intended.

Volkswagen campersWorthersee Volkswagen Festival

Well, if you’re visiting the Alps for a VW festival, is there a better way of doing it than an old-school VW camper?

Volkswagen BeetleWorthersee Volkswagen Festival

Thanks to their popularity, classic Volkswagen Beetles are still a relatively common sight on the roads. Plenty made it to Worthersee, including this lovely green example complete with skis on the back.

Volkswagen Polo G40Worthersee Volkswagen Festival

The Polo G40 is the result of what happened when VW bolted a supercharger to the 1.3-litre engine in the GT. Although it wasn’t incredibly powerful (it produced 115hp), it’d beat both the Fiesta XR2i and Peugeot 205 GTi in the 0-62mph run.

Volkswagen LupoWorthersee Volkswagen Festival

Ah, the VW Lupo. Pre-dating the popular Up, the Lupo wasn’t quite the sales success of its successor. They’ve got quite a following in Volkswagen circles, though. This was one of a number of modified examples on show at Worthersee.

Volkswagen Polo HarlequinWorthersee Volkswagen Festival

You can imagine the meeting that led to the creation of the Volkswagen Polo Harlequin. “We need to give the Polo a sales boost. Let’s launch a special edition. But what can we do with it?” The answer, apparently, was to paint every body panel a different colour. Around 3,800 were made (and presumably sold), including this modified example.

Volkswagen TouranWorthersee Volkswagen Festival

A Volkswagen Touran people carrier doesn’t seem the obvious choice as a base for a modified car. Name the VW, however, and you’ll probably find a modded version at Worthersee.

Mk2 Volkswagen GolfWorthersee Volkswagen Festival

We spotted this lovely Mk2 Volkswagen Golf in one of the car parks at Worthersee. The decals suggest it’s an Elite special edition… we don’t know much about it, but feel free to tell us more about it in the comments if you do!

Volkswagen Passat GTE (2016)

Plug-in Volkswagen Passat GTE orders open from £36,525

Volkswagen Passat GTE (2016)Volkswagen has opened ordering for the first-ever plug-in Passat, with the new GTE petrol-electric hybrid costing from £36,525.

That’s the pre-grant price: the Plug-in Car Grant takes it down by £2,500 because CO2 emissions are low and its zero-emissions range is high.

Volkswagen says the official NEDC fuel consumption for the new Passat GTE is 166 mpg (provided you have a full battery); CO2 emissions are 39 g/km. The plug-in hybrid system gives it up to 31 miles’ electric-only range.

When depleted, the 1.4-litre TSI turbo petrol engine produces 156 hp, with the electric motor adding an extra 115 hp – the system total is 218 hp and 295lb ft of torque.

0-62mph takes 7.6 seconds and Volkswagen says that has the electric motor alone produces 243 lb/ft of pulling power from near-standstill, responsiveness is impressive.

A six-speed DSG gearbox is standard; a third clutch handles the transition between electric drive and petrol power, decoupling the TSI motor wherever possible to conserve momentum.

Volkswagen Passat GTE (2016)

Charging the lithium ion battery, which is positioned beneath the rear seat (meaning boot space is unchanged over regular Passat), takes 4 hours 15 minutes from a domestic UK power supply, or two hours 30 minutes from a 3.6 kW wallbox.

The Passat GTE has suitably sporty detailing in the vein of the GTI-inspired Golf GTE, and is offered in two trim lines: GT and GT Advance. First deliveries are due later this month.

Here’s hoping Volkswagen makes a better job of it than BMW did with its plug-in hybrid 3 Series…

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