VW shows off a race car-inspired 213kW Golf GTI TCR

<i>Image: Newspress</i>
<i>Image: Newspress</i>

The latest evolution of a true motoring icon, this front-wheel-drive performance hero is the latest in a long line of sporting Golfs that have become the measure by which all others in their class are calibrated.

Inspired by, and derived from, the race car of the same name – twice the overall winner of the international TCR (Touring Car Racing) series – the TCR tops off the current GTI range in the UK, with the first examples arriving in March.

Impressive performance

Indeed, the new model takes the GTI nomenclature up a notch in terms of power and performance.

READ: 'Fastest' Golf GTI yet: VW reveals hot 213kW TCR Concept

Its 213kW power peak – a full-time peak here, unlike the 'boost' peak available in the former GTI Clubsport Edition 40 – is channeled through a seven-speed DSG (dual clutch) gearbox and carries this new model from rest to 0-100km/h in a spirited 5.6 seconds and on to a top speed of as much as 263km/h.

The new GTI’s performance is as accessible as it is impressive. 

The 213kW maximum power figure arrives at 5 400rpm while all 380Nm of torque is on offer from a mere 1 800rpm, and remains available until 5 300rpm.


                                                                            Image: Newspress

Indeed, a meaningful 200Nm is on tap at just 1 000rpm – essentially at little more than idle speed.

Together with the almost instant shifting nature of the standard-fit DSG, these power and torque profiles combine to make the car feel as willing and responsive as its headlining figures imply.

Premium quality

Fitted with 18" 'Quaranta' alloy wheels as standard, with 225/40 R18 tyres, it is marked out by its distinctive front and rear bumpers, matte black exterior mirrors and TCR motif on the rear quarter panel. 

On the inside, exclusive TCR seats feature, as well as a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel with a track-inspired red marker at the 12 o’clock position. 

The gear gater is finished in Alcantara to match the door inserts, and the TCR logo is projected onto the street below when the door is opened.

Helping to stop the car as impressively as it accelerates are upgraded brakes. It is also equipped with a high-performance braking system as standard, with perforated discs and special brake pads. 

Improved cooling also features, with two extra water radiators in the front – as with the 220kW, 4Motion all-wheel drive Golf R.

A £2 000 (about R36 000) option pack comprising 19" Reifnitz alloy wheels, suspension lowered by 20mm and fitted with Dynamic Chassis Control and the top speed restriction removed – allowing a maximum speed of 263kW – further reinforces the car’s sporting appeal. 

Also available is a Pure Grey paint colour – a first for any GTI – which can be complemented by exclusive optional honeycomb decals on the side of the car, and an optional black roof.


                                                                          Image: Newspress

The efficiency of the four-cylinder 16-valve engine combined with a petrol particulate filter is assured.

"The arrival of any new Golf GTI is always a big moment but, with the debut of this exclusive and track-inspired car, I think we are seeing the debut of a future GTI icon," said Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK.

"The TCR’s 213kW front-wheel-drive set-up and stunning looks, along with the established quality, reliability and engineering excellence that Volkswagen brings to all of its cars, promise to make this hot hatch a 'must-have' for discerning buyers," she adds.

Currently, Volkswagen has four cars in its revered GTI range, starting with the up! GTI city car, Polo GTI supermini and Golf GTI Performance, with the range now topped by the motorsport-inspired GTI TCR. 

For more information about all of these models, click here.

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