Wörthersee treffen 2017 is almost here and with it one of the world's biggest independent car shows dedicated to celebrating all things VW and Audi.
For this year's event, Volkswagen has handed 13 apprentices aged between 18 and 23 the huge responsibility of creating one of the most important show cars -- the Wörthersee GTI 2017. Tradition dictates that it must be based on a current VW Golf GTi, be a real working car, and has to be ready a day before the show begins on May 24.
Thankfully, digital development and printing technologies are helping the team stay on track as the deadline fast approaches.
"This way, we were able to take fast and efficient decisions concerning the design of wheel rims, paintwork and foils," said 21-year-old apprentice motor vehicle mechatronics technician Eric Miguel Lehrach.
Although the Wörthersee treffen has been rudely awakening the sleepy lakeside town of Reifnitz in Austria since 1981, it's only been in the past decade that the concept cars that arrive from VW's mainstream brands, especially created for the event, have been real, working vehicles.
And this is thanks to the rapid development of next-generation production and development tools.
In the case of the Wörthersee GTi, it means that the team can literally design, test and build every element it needs itself without having to farm out projects to other areas of the company or other technicians. "[It's] in our own hands," said Lehrach.
While the team isn't prepared to disclose ahead of time what exactly to expect from their 2017 GTi, they have revealed that one of its stand-out features will be a specially built 1960-watt sound system with 11 speakers and subwoofers that will look like standard equipment within the car's interior.
The 36th annual Wörthersee treffen runs May 24-27 in Reifnitz, Austria.