The theme song for Volkswagen's 1997 Golf K2 is "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."

Considering the area's recent wintry blasts, the Golf's association with K2, the ski and snowboard maker, seems to be a fortunate one.

The 1997 Golf K2 is a special winter version of Volkswagen's popular five-door hatchback. The exclusive exterior design consists of "Siesta" style wheel covers, a custom roof-rack system, a roof-mounted whip antenna, front fog lights, specific colors of Toronado Red and Candy White and Black, and special badging.

Interior styling includes a special limited-edition "Spirit" cloth interior and custom carpet floor mats. The instrument panel gets a sporting touch with silver- faced sports gauges.

To supplement the winter theme, special cold- weather features include heated front seats and heated windshield washer nozzles. The power side mirrors include automatic defoggers. All-season tires complete the package.

Safety features include driver and passenger airbags, anti-intrusion side door beams, protective side door reinforcement and padding, and VW's safety cage construction. The cage works in conjunction with crash-absorbing crumple zones in the event there's a collision.

It is rather obvious that if you are a skier or snowboard enthusiast and want to head for the snow covered slopes, you're going to be pretty well prepared in a Golf K2.

The custom roof rack is specifically designed to clamp skis or a snowboard securely into place. Unless you suffer from brain fade and end upside down in a ditch, everything will be in place when you get to your destination.

The Golf has front-wheel drive and, when it's equipped with all-season tires, getting to your destination is virtually guaranteed. The front fog lights are designed to handle the limited driving conditions that sometimes occur in higher elevations, while the cold weather features will keep passengers comfortable.

The K2 is powered by VW's newly refined 2.0- liter (121.1 cubic inches) four-cylinder engine. Power output is 115- horsepower, pretty good for a two-valves-per-cylinder single cam. Torque is 122 foot-pounds, with the power being spread across a wide rpm band.

With a roof rack carrying skis or a snowboard, or both, a K2 is not exactly set up for high speed aerodynamic airflow. The power band still provides spirited performance. Also, the four-wheel independent suspension, which employs VW's unique track-correcting bushings, provides stable footing on snowy roads.

For those shift-it-yourself devotees, the standard transmission is a manual five-speed with fourth and fifth being under a 1-to- 1 ratio (0.97-to-1 and 0.87-to-1) for city and highway cruising. The shift mechanism is rod-linkage, not cable, for a direct-feel shift pattern.

The automatic uses a new, smoother shift logic pattern and adaptive learning technology that adjusts to individual driving styles.

In addition, there are some other incentives awaiting the winter sports enthusiasts who buy this car. Skiers can get a pair of K2 El Camino skis from K2's New School Series. Snowboarders can get a K2 Juju with Clicker BLT bindings.