The annual Volkswagen GTI meet at lake Worthersee in Austria appears dead.
First held in 1982 when the Volkswagen CEO gifted the town a granite model of an Mk2 GTI, the meeting for GTI owners and enthusiasts has been officially backed by Volkswagen since 2006.
It’s served as a launchpad for some wild concept cars, including a W12-powered Mk5 GTI, and was used to reveal the T-Roc R SUV.
In recent years it’s been cancelled due to COVID-19, although that didn’t stop thousand of die-hard fans from showing up and causing headaches for Austrian police.
Auto motor und sport reports the event hasn’t been cancelled by Volkswagen, but has instead fallen victim to a local council focus on sustainability.
A media release from the Maria Wörth council says the region “will no longer host any conventional major automotive events in the next few years”.
The council said the “effects of climate change, the responsibility of political decision-makers for the preservation of ecosystems, and the need to align actions at all levels according to the principles of sustainability make it necessary to place the future design under new premises”.
Volkswagen told auto motor und sport: “We regret that the legendary GTI meeting at Wörthersee will no longer take place in this form.”
“The loyal GTI fans have been an integral part of our brand identity for decades and make VW a real love brand. We are currently investigating how we can support the GTI fan community in the future.”