Event Coverage: 2008 Worthersee

Worthersee, Austria — This year marked the 27th annual Lake Wörther Tour — a gathering of auto enthusiasts at the end of May in the Austrian province of Carinthia. The event began as a gathering of GTI owners but has evolved to one of the top aftermarket events of the summer, with a large focus on the Volkswagen family of products.

Like SEMA and Waterfest in the USA, Worthersee hasn’t gone unnoticed by the folks at corporate headquarters in Germany. For the second year going, the auto enthusiasts at the highest level in Ingolstadt and Wolfsburg have built their own cars to show at the event, front and center on brand stands and flanked by more factory accessory-laden cars than you might find anywhere else.

Spectators were rewarded by the unveiling of a few special Volkswagens. The show marked the world debut of the GT24 Scirocco, a 325 hp race-ready edition of VW’s new coupe. Just two days later, three GT24s proved their race-worthiness, lining up for the 24-hour endurance event at on the Nürburgring race track.

Worthersee also set the stage for the Austrian debut of the Golf Variant RaVe270. This concept car, a testament to the power of modifications, is powered by a 270 hp TSI engine and boasts a 1400-watt sound system and exlusive leather bucket seats. Alongside the RaVe270 was a specially-customized design study of the Passat CC, highlighting the potential found in the Volkswagen Accessories line.

Audi also built two cars specifically for and inspired by the event. A two-liter A4 TDI clubsport quattro Concept was perhaps the most attention-getting. This highly modified and rally-inspired A3 featured a tuned 2.0-liter TDI engine rated at 244 hp and 331.9 lb-ft of torque. Audi says this will push it from 0-62 mph in only 6.6 seconds.

For the second year, Audi also showed off a chopped speedster version of the TT Roadster. This year’s car was quite similar to the one seen last year and we hear Audi is considering limited production of the car for the European market. The 2008 car also featured massive wheel arches and a front end more suited to production, making us wonder if this is a prelude to the upcoming TT-R.

We hear the event is a particular favorite of Audi AG board member Michael Dick. The cars on hand are known to be pet projects of Audi’s development czar, and he also managed to slip his R8 V12 TDI concept car into Audi’s large display building as well.

Though corporations like Audi and VW have discovered the event, Worthersee still remains decidedly enthusiast driven. Street after street and field after field are filled with modified Audis, Volkswagens and more, displaying the latest trends in the European modifying scene.

It appears the European market’s penchant for over-the-top elements like rust, wicker, and gold plating is fading, in favor of an increasingly radical interpretation of the OEMplus movement. Refinished factory wheels of the largest diameter, cleanly-blended cartoonish wheel arches and slammed suspensions provide an attention-getting spin on the staid look that has become quite preferred in the scene on both sides of the pond.

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