Volkswagen apprentices build first ever electric Golf GTI
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How much responsibility would you entrust to an apprentice under the age of 23?
Maybe you'd let them park the company vehicle? Use a specialty tool they haven't purchased yet? Or, perhaps, a broom is the only tool they should be exposed to in the early stages?
That might be true with some businesses, but if you're a promising Volkswagen apprentice, things work differently.
For the last decade, Volkswagen has hand-picked its best apprentices from all over the world to come together, share ideas, learn about the latest vehicle production technologies, and then build a working concept of their dream GTI.
This year a team of 13 young talents (eight males and five females), between the ages of 18 and 23, has been entrusted with equipping Volkswagen's iconic Golf GTI, with the latest electric technology.
What the apprentices came up with is the first GTI to feature electric propulsion - the Golf GTI First Decade. The name also pays homage to the 10th year of the apprentice programme.
"During the creation of their dream GTI, our apprentices learn about the complexity and future challenges of automobile production," said Peter Christ, head of Automotive technology training at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg factory.
"We choose our strongest talents and offer them the opportunity to learn from experienced instructors and experts from the entire company at an early stage."
This year, the 13 apprentices worked with engineers from Design, Group Research Drive Systems, Technical Development, the seat centre, plastic parts production and the paint shop.
The Golf GTI First Decade was designed and built in less than nine months, using ideas provided by apprentices in six locations.
The Golf GTI First Decade has a 300kW petrol engine powering the front wheels, and a 48-volt electric motor with a maximum output of 12kW that drives the rear wheels.
The two motors can work separately or in tandem when needed. The GTI can be driven like any hot hatch with the petrol engine (front-wheel drive), in pure electric mode (rear-wheel drive), or combined creating an all-wheel drive hatch.
The GTI First Decade hatch also features regenerative braking technology, utilising the heat or kinetic energy produced by braking to charge two batteries in the rear of the vehicle.
The hatch is painted in Atlantic Blue Metallic, with Satin Ocean Shimmer foil on the doors and rear side panels, and racing stripes running down the centre made up of three blue tones. The differing shades of blue represent the sky and lakes surrounding the Wolfsburg production plant.
On the exterior, apprentices also elected to fit a Clubsport rear spoiler and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Inside the handmade two-seat sports setup can be fully adjusted electrically using switches or a smartphone app.
Instead of rear seats, the team chose to install a 1690 watt high-end sound system with 11 speakers and a sub-woofer housed on a carbon-covered baseplate and LED lighting.