Volkswagen South Africa revealed pricing for its new Golf GTI TCR. The car, which will go on sale later this month, has an asking price of R669 000.
Now, it's not cheap at all, but it is competitively priced against its rivals.
The GTI TCR makes use of the same turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine as its standard GTI sibling, but power has been upped to 213kW and 380Nm. All of which are sent to the front wheels via the company’s brilliant six-speed DSG transmission.
The GTI TCR is so wholly specified, though, that the only real option buyers have is to choose which of the three colours available they want their cars to decked in.
This is impressive - by any standard - because it highlights that Volkswagen can put together a comprehensive package and still have it retail under rivals' asking price.
And speaking of rivals, which cars does the GTI TCR come up against? We list three of its most important rivals.
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR. Image: Newspress
The i30N may be the least popular car in this entire list, but it is by no means an inferior product. Like the GTI TCR, it, too, sends its power to the front wheels, but via a six-speed manual gearbox.
Having driven the car at its South African launch, it is fair to say that this is a proper quick car. It's engaging to drive and has no quibbles about taking on a mountain pass or twisty race track.
The i30N's 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine develops 202kW and 353Nm, and can go from 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds. Volkswagen claims 5.6sec for its GTI TCR. Top speed is another aspect the Hyundai falls short in versus the hot Golf: 250km/h vs. 264km/h.
The i30N retails for R679 900, whereas VW managed to bring the GTI TCR to market at R669 000.
2020 Hyundai i30N. Image: QuickPic
Renault Megane RS Trophy
If ever there was a cat among the pigeons, it would be the Megane RS Trophy. Before lockdown put a halt on everything, Renault South Africa was reading this car for its South African debut. And yes, we were looking forward to it because how would it stack up against the i30N - one of the best-handling hatchbacks on sale in SA today.
But in the back of our minds, we knew that VW would also have a say in the matter with its upcoming GTI TCR. So how do these two cars stack up?
The RS Trophy makes use of a turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine that produces 220kW and 420Nm – quite a bit more than the Golf. It is speculated that the Trophy will also run from 0-100km/h in under six seconds, so we can ready ourselves for a similar time to that of the TCR's.
Because the car has not yet been launched in SA - and given that the RS 280 Lux and Cup both retail for R614 900 - Renault would be weary not to price its Trophy out of reach. Least of all beyond the GTI TCR's price.
2020 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy. Image: Renault Sport
Honda Civic Type R
Ah, the Honda Civic Type R. This is quite a machine and one that rewards its driver tenfold. A 2.0-litre turbocharged engine churns out 228kW/400Nm, and all of it is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.
This Honda can run from 0-100km/h in 5.8sec and out of breath at 272km/h. Just how it’ll stack up against the TCR in a road test remains to be seen, because the Civic Type R is known for its hard ride quality - a trademark of the name.
Of all the cars mentioned in this list, the Type R is the oldest of the lot, despite 'only' coming to our market in January 2018.
And at R703 200, it's also the most expensive of the cars listed here.2020 Honda Civic Type R. Image: QuickPic