Volkswagen has shoe-horned a W12 engine into a three-door Golf body shell to create a unique design study for the GTI festival in Europe this week.

The GTI W12-650 has a bespoke mid-mounted bi-turbo 650 PS engine channelling drive to the rear wheels.

Not only is it the most powerful Golf ever produced by Volkswagen but it’s also the fastest. The sprint from standstill to 62 mph (100km/h) takes 3.7 seconds. A potential maximum speed of 201.8 mph is made possible through a 70 mm lower ride height and the extensive use of under floor aerodynamic aids including a diffuser negating the need for a large rear wing to keep the vehicle pinned to the ground at very high speeds.

The twin-turbo W12 engine is mounted on a unique aluminium subframe and the engine’s cooling systems are fed by a pair of side-mounted vents placed in the airflow just ahead of the rear wheels.

The 5,998 cc W12 engine is an evolution of the 450PS version fitted to the Phaeton. The engine is made from aluminium to reduce weight further and features four valves per cylinder and two overhead camshafts per cylinder head. Extremely compact in design, measuring only 513 mm in length, 715 mm in height and 710 mm in breadth, it’s effectively made up of a pair of narrow-angle V6 engines laid alongside each other. The engine is linked to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. With the fitment of a pair of turbochargers power rises to 650 PS at 6,000 rpm while peak torque is capped at 553 lbs ft delivered at 4,500 rpm making it over three times more powerful than the conventional Golf GTI.

A 160mm gain in width over the standard GTI is designed to accommodate the mid-mounted engine, bespoke drivetrain and the side-mounted cooling systems. The roof is constructed out of carbon fibre and features an integrated cooling scoop to channel air into the rear-mounted radiators.

The redesigned floating C-pillars further aid the cooling systems to feed air into the engine.

The car has 19-inch wheels styled to mimic the standard wheels fitted to the Golf GTI but have 295-profile tyres to aid traction.

This one-off design study was built to mark the annual GTI festival in Worthersee, Austria. The event is the biggest of its kind in Europe.