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One Hopped Up Rabbit

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Like a rabbit jacked up on pure adrenaline, a new Volkswagen GTI concept has been introduced in Europe that looks like it could put some supercars to shame.

Volkswagen's new GTI W12-650 concept is sure to surprise many auto enthusiasts when they hear what exactly sits under its hood - a massive 6.0-litre, 12-cylinder engine. This tiny little hatch can now speed from 0-100 km/h in a blistering 3.7 seconds and its top speed is 325 km/h.

Volkswagen says that the chassis components of the car were adapted directly from a super sports car. Due to the gigantic tire dimensions, the brightly machined ?Detroit? GTI wheels are 'dished' in the direction of the wheel hub and are custom built; the pitch circle with the wheel nuts lies much deeper than the rim circle.

It's easy to tell just by looking at it that the GTI W12 has been lowered, and in fact it's 70 mm lower than the production GTI.

"In the rear, the showcar is 80 millimeters wider on each side. However, the body of the GTI easily takes this in. We already have a strong shoulder section here on the production model. We were able to draw it outward even more distinctly, like on a sports car," said Klaus Bischoff, Director of Volkswagen Design.

Bischoff said that the fingerprint of the GTI had to be there in the W12 concept because without it, "the entire character of the car is ruined."

Both the front and the rear feature large air inlets to keep the bi-turbo engine cool and at the front, the the straight-line grille between the headlamps, with its red frame, is reminiscent of the first GTI.

The interior is pure sportiness as well, with leather bucket seats, ?flip-up switch covers? for important functions such as ESP deactivation (so as to avoid accidental switch activations), and - as one of many references to car-racing - an integrated fire extinguisher in place of a glove box. For weight reasons, the door trim was completely 'stripped'; only screens are used, which quite intentionally offer a view of the internal workings of the door mechanisms.

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suhhhhWEET! Yeah, I have my copy of Autoweek here on the desk in front of me.

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I'd have been more interested if it was a Passat or a new VW sports coupe.

Sorry, a 12 into a compact hatch is simply sacrilegious.

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That being said, if only Pontiac would look at the G6 coupe (or the G5) and do something crazy like a smallblock or Northie with AWD underpinings.

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