The roar of engines echoed through the picturesque landscape of Zell am See, Austria, as Volkswagen unveiled its iconic Golf series at the traditional Ice Race. This marked the commencement of the Golf's golden anniversary year, and enthusiasts were treated to a dazzling display of speed and style on the icy stage. The event celebrated this legendary vehicle's past, present, and future, from the classic Volkswagen Golf I GTI to the yet-to-be-revealed Volkswagen Golf R.
A Sporting Legacy Unveiled: The Ice Race served as the perfect backdrop for Volkswagen to showcase the sporting evolution of the Golf. Racing legends Hans-Joachim Stuck and Johan Kristoffersson took the wheel, pushing various Golf variants to their limits. The crowd witnessed the debut of the Golf I GTI from 1975 and the formidable Golf IV R32, the pioneer of the R series. Reinhold Ivenz, Head of Volkswagen R, teased the eagerly awaited Golf R, set to make its world premiere in mid-2024.
Volkswagen R: A Legacy of Performance: The head of Volkswagen R, Reinhold Ivenz, emphasized the brand's commitment to sportiness and dynamism, spanning over two decades. The Ice Race became a symbolic convergence of Volkswagen's past and future, with the camouflaged Golf R embodying the brand's premium performance essence. Ivenz expressed anticipation for the official unveiling of the Golf R in the summer, promising a fusion of history and innovation.
New Golf Conquers Ice and Snow: The new Golf took center stage in Zell am See, not merely as a static display but in full action. The Volkswagen Golf R, Volkswagen Golf GTI, Volkswagen Golf eHybrid, and Volkswagen Golf GTE showcased their prowess on the icy track. Racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck, with his wealth of experience, highlighted the thrill of navigating high-performance vehicles on snow and ice, transforming the Ice Race into a spectacular motorsport spectacle.
Johan Kristoffersson's Love for the R Models: Johan Kristoffersson, a five-time World Rallycross Champion with Volkswagen, shared his enthusiasm for driving powerful all-wheel-drive vehicles, especially those bearing the coveted R badge. Despite the camouflage, he hinted at the true sports car nature of the yet-to-be-released Volkswagen Golf R, leaving fans of the R brand eagerly anticipating its official debut.
Ice Race: A Tradition Reimagined: The Ice Race traces its roots back to the daring days of skijoring, evolving into a motorsport extravaganza that blends tradition with modern spectacle. From its inception in 1937 to its current iteration in 2024, the event has witnessed the transition from skis and horses to high-performance cars, embodying the evolution of automotive excellence.
Volkswagen R's Future: Volkswagen R, responsible for the sportiest vehicles in the lineup, has seen record-breaking success, with over 35,000 vehicles produced in 2023 alone. The brand is poised for a transformation, with a commitment to fully electric R models by 2030. Embracing the pillars of performance, design, innovation, and value, Volkswagen R is set to redefine the landscape of high-performance electric vehicles.
As the Ice Race unfolded in Zell am See, Volkswagen's Golf series not only celebrated its storied past but also gave enthusiasts a glimpse into its exhilarating future. The promise of the Volkswagen Golf R, the legacy of Volkswagen R, and the dynamic display on the icy track collectively underscored the enduring appeal and innovation that define the Golf series as it enters its 50th year. The Ice Race, a thrilling testament to the fusion of tradition and modernity, left spectators eagerly anticipating the next chapter in the illustrious history of Volkswagen's iconic Golf. @via Volkswagen.