VW gears up for Worthersee with first madcap concept

  • AFP
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2015 11:24 IST

Meet the Funstar, a very cool pickup take on the Skoda Fabia, that may give fans a hint about what to expect at this year's biggest car tuning festival dedicated to all things Volkswagen group.

Every May, Reifnitz in Austria plays host to the Worthersee, a sort of Glastonbury festival for people who love all things customized and Volkswagen -- including the car companies it now owns. And this year is no different, with the 2015 Worthersee running from May 13-16.

VW uses the event to gauge response to new ideas, features and styling cues but more excitingly, to let its designers completely off the leash and go crazy.

The first of the one-off cars to be announced ahead of the event proper comes courtesy of a team of teenaged students currently at Skoda's Akademie vocational school and is a seriously chopped version of the current Skoda Fabia.

Called the Fabia Funstar, it is equal parts supermini and compact pickup truck and one that is actually a working concept. Under the menacingly vented hood is a real, albeit lightly powered 1.2-liter petrol engine mated to a Volkswagen double clutch seven-speed paddle shift transmission.

The design team says that it there wasn't enough room for a larger engine unfortunately. What it lacks in horsepower it makes up for in watts -- from the soundsystem that is. The standard car's stereo can pump out 300 but the Funstar can burst eardrums from one hundred paces with its 1400-watt set up.

All of which makes it even more of a shame this car won't be going past the concept stage -- it's surprising how well the Fabia's lines hold up even when in utility vehicle form.

However, if the diminutive concept stirs the crowds up sufficiently, Skoda says that it will give its students carte blanche again for next year's event.

Expect the Skoda concept to be joined by a number of even more extreme concepts from Audi, Seat and of course Volkswagen itself in the days leading up to the festival proper.

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