Last year, Volkswagen introduced to the world a 330-horsepower beast named the Golf GTI TCR concept — a wide-bodied, track-focused athlete built specifically for customer racing teams. Hot hatch lovers (a.k.a. everyone) were intrigued to say the least, but the car was still awaiting its final approval by the men in suits. Today, we’re pleased to report that the TCR has been given the green light.
Based on the production GTI, the TCR was developed specifically by the Volkswagen Motorsport team, and all 20 examples have been spoken for. As this is being written, the small fleet is being prepped for delivery to various racing teams across the globe, coinciding with the opening day of the TCR International Series.
The stripped-down hatchback rides on an improved chassis that is roughly 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) wider than the Golfs sitting in dealerships right now, and to further differentiate it from the production version, the TCR wears an enormous wing at the rear. Despite what the flashy aero may lead you to believe, though, the carbon-clad GTI you see above is indeed front-wheel drive. All 330 hp and 302 pound-feet of torque from its Golf R-based 2.0-liter are sent up front through a six-speed sequential gearbox, however the TCR does equip a multi-plate differential to put the power down appropriately. Flat out, it’ll do 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.
Inside the car, you’ll find a lightweight, bare bones interior that includes a racing seat, full harness, roll cage, and an FIA-approved fuel tank.
“The Golf GTI TCR allows customer racing teams to partake in reasonably-priced motorsport with a Volkswagen,” said Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “Furthermore, the teams can expand their motorsport commitments in numerous TCR championships, both at the national and international level. We are providing them with a car that is ideally suited and prepared for this purpose: the Golf has not only made an outstanding impression at tests, but also shown its great potential in competition. We are delighted by the high demand for the car among customer racing teams, which confirms that we are doing a good job.”
The Golf GTI turns 40 this year, and to celebrate even further, VW is launching the Golf GTI Clubsport, the most powerful production GTI ever. Output is officially rated at 265 hp, but with the overboost function turned on, drivers can increase peak power to 290 hp for short periods.
So whether you’re screaming around the track or tearing up your favorite backroad, odds are there’s a hopped-up Golf for you.