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Golf on Ice: Volkswagen’s New Star Skids into the Spotlight at Zell am See’s Chilly Raceway

Zell am See, Austria: In an electrifying blend of icy thrills and automotive prowess, Volkswagen’s latest sensation, the new Golf R, made a grand, albeit camouflaged, entrance at the exhilarating Ice Race. The event, a frosty fusion of history and horsepower, celebrated the golden 50th anniversary of the Golf in a style as cool as the venue itself.

From the past’s shadows to the present’s spotlight, the event was more than just a race; it was a journey through time. The ice rink turned racetrack dazzled with Volkswagen’s proudest moments, starring the iconic Golf I GTI from 1975 and the groundbreaking Golf IV R32 from 2002, the forefather of all R-branded speedsters. But the real showstopper? The future Golf R, still under wraps but unmistakably a beast in waiting, set to roar into the world in mid-2024.

Racing legends Hans-Joachim Stuck and Johan Kristoffersson, donned not in skates but in snow tires, tore through the ice with a ferocity that would make a polar bear blush. “It’s a spectacle,” declared Stuck, a man who knows a thing or two about speed, having conquered Le Mans twice. Kristoffersson, with six World Rallycross Championships under his belt, couldn’t hide his excitement. “Driving an R model on ice is a thrill,” he exclaimed, his eyes gleaming like the ice below.

The Ice Race, more than just a daring display of motor might, is a tribute to its humble, albeit quirky, origins in skijouring – a sport where Nordic farmers, in a fit of frosty fun, let horses drag them across the ice. From horsepower to actual horsepower, the event has evolved into a spectacle of speed and skill.

Volkswagen’s Reinhold Ivenz, Head of Volkswagen R, captured the essence of the event: “It’s where the past meets the future,” he said, his eyes reflecting the icy track. “We’re revving up for the summer premiere of the Golf R.”

The new Golf, showcased in four variants, proved it was more than a pretty face in the cold. It was action-packed, demonstrating that even in the frostiest of conditions, Volkswagen’s spirit of innovation burns hotter than ever.

The Ice Race, a frostbitten fiesta of motorsport, not only heats up the cold hearts of die-hard fans but also kindles a fiery passion in the uninitiated. As the engines cool and the ice melts, one thing remains certain: Volkswagen’s new Golf R, still a mystery in its camouflage, promises to be as exhilarating as the race that introduced it.

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