If you’re a Volkswagen fan, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of Worthersee. Officially called GTI-Treffen, it quickly grew to become one of the world’s largest VW-centric shows after its founding in 1982. The event’s official host, the Maria Worth local municipality in Austria, recently decided to axe the event in the name of climate impact and overcrowding. This decision left nearly 200,000 show-goers without a place to meet for the first time in 40 years.
Fortunately, Volkswagen has decided to pick up where Maria Worth is leaving off. The automaker has officially announced that it will host the show itself near the Autostadt museum which is in close proximity to the brand’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Volkswagen corporate is no stranger to Worthersee. In fact, the OEM has been backing the event since 2006 and has used it as a platform to reveal new road cars and concepts in years past. It was at Worthersee that Dieselgate-era VW CEO Martin Winterkorn encouraged engineers to stuff Ferdinand Piëch's W12 into a MK5 GTI.
Now, the automaker is officially hosting the event rebranded as GTI Coming Home, which feels more like a family holiday dinner than a car meetup, but who are we to judge?
“Our GTI fans are of great importance to Volkswagen and that's why the exchange with them is very dear to us," said VW board member Imelda Labbe in a press release. "For this reason, after the GTI Meeting at Lake Worthersee was unfortunately canceled, we decided pretty quickly to offer the GTI fan community in Wolfsburg a new home for the event.”
“Accordingly, we will certainly be able to offer some highlights and surprises in the coming year," added Labbe.
Even with its involvement as a sponsor in the past, VW has big shoes to fill when it comes to promoting and running a show as big as Worthersee. It would appear that the automaker has no qualms about this, though, as Wolfsburg is much better suited to house tens of thousands of attendees. Plus, VW says it has “other interesting events and surprises” up its sleeve to woo show-goers.
The first official GTI Coming Home show will be held in 2024. Those looking to get a fix of what could have been at Worthersee this year can still attend a planned interim event in Klagenfurt, which is a few kilometers outside of Maria Worth.
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