Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson 6 years ago

39 Pictures That Capture The Madness Of Worthersee GTI Treffen

Fresh from a crazy experience at Austria's massive Worthersee GTI meet, we're summing up the show in the best way we know - a big image dump

Remind me later
39 Pictures That Capture The Madness Of Worthersee GTI Treffen - Tuning

Reifnitz - population 1526 - is a sleepy little town that lies on the shore of Austria’s lake Wörthersee. It’s a pretty place but not a town of any particular note, except for one thing: for four days every year, about 150,000 VW enthusiasts descend upon the local area for a celebration of all things VAG. And it’s called the Wörthersee GTI Treffen.

Started in 1982 by a local pub owner and actor with the intention of kicking a bit of life into the local tourism industry, GTI Treffen (which translates roughly as GTI meet) began with just 100 people in attendance. Over the years it’s grown exponentially to become one of the largest VW shows in the world.

GTI Treffen eventually grew large enough to attract the attention of VW itself, and to this day the manufacturer enjoys a strong presence at the show. Each year it’ll usually reveal a handful of concepts created by apprentices, plus a special concept of its own. This year for instance, it was the turn of the Up GTI, while 10 years ago Wolfsburg went completely bonkers and revealed a mid-engined, W12-powered Golf.

What makes GTI Treffen particularly interesting as a car meet is it’s not just a single location with a bunch of cars parked up. Cars litter the place, stuffed into every nook and cranny of the local area. They’re parked up on the pavements. Outside rented apartments. Or just seen trundling around Reifnitz in a very unsubtle traffic jam.

As for the cars themselves, there’s an undeniable trend of stretched tyres combined with massive suspension drops going on, which won’t be to everyone’s tastes. But with such a huge variety of motors kicking about, there’s something for everyone: be it a slammed Golf with a lurid paint scheme, a tastefully modified Audi R8 or a clean, mint Beetle.

The whole shebang has an infectious festival atmosphere to it - a little like a real-life, more down-to-Earth Forza Horizon.

If I get the chance to hit up GTI Treffen again, I won’t need asking twice.