THE Australian arm of German car maker Volkswagen challenged its top tier apprentices to build a race car capable of 0-100km/h in under 4.0 seconds. But there was a catch, they had to use the 206kW Arteon performance GT coupe.

Not only that, it had to be ready to debut at this weekend’s World Time Attack Challenge at Sydney Motorsport Park. Not only did the apprentices complete the challenge, they’ve created a veritable monster.

Mentored by the who’s who of the Australian performance aftermarket and motorsport industry, the apprentices turned the Arteon into a 360kW/600Nm race car, dyno-tuned and capable of a 3.9 second run to the 100km bench mark.

Dubbed the ART3on and turned into a full blown art car with the help of legendary street artist Kade (Simon Murray), the car has been built as part of Volkswagen Australia’s second-ever Apprentice Build Challenge.

The program sees a small cohort of high-achieving Volkswagen apprentices selected to take on a unique build designed to test their skills and offer them invaluable industry experience not available in a typical automotive apprenticeship.

Last year’s team turned a 2.2-tonne Amarok ute into a race-going track car; which became a viral superstar on social media, and has since gone on to set impressive lap times around Australia’s premier motor sport tracks.

Overseeing the one week build, and the apprentices, was a team of mentors from Volkswagen Australia’s own technical division, as well as innovators from the Australian automotive community.

The parts and labour list on the ART3on reads like any great race car: a roll-cage and harnessed race seats from Bond Roll Bars, custom suspension from Bilstein Australia, race brakes from APR/VolksMuller, and engine and performance tuning from Harding Performance in collaboration with Racing Line UK, of Volkswagen Motorsport fame.

While the entire team – both apprentices and expert mentors alike – are eagerly awaiting the ART3on’s official lap time around Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend, the numbers from the Art Car’s shakedown and testing session at Luddenham Raceway have already confirmed the car has met its brief, and the challenge completed.

The car will be driven at World Time Attack Challenge by in-demand race driver, Renato Loberto. More than just a gun-for-hire, Loberto has also volunteered his time and expertise – mentoring the apprentices throughout the build.

Beyond this weekend’s virgin run at World Time Attack Challenge, the strength of the ART3on’s base chassis and drive line technology will be showcased over the coming months, as Volkswagen intends for this one-of-a-kind race car to appear at several motor sport fixtures around the country in varying calibrations.

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