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ABT turns the Golf GTI up to 335bhp

GTI TCR fettled by ABT has more power than a Honda Civic Type R

It’s a cracking car, the VW Golf TCR. But with ‘only’ 286bhp, it’s somewhat less powerful than the Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megane R.S. Trophy.

Enter ABT. The German tuner has liberated an extra 49bhp and 37lb ft from the Golf’s 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, taking it up to 335bhp and 317lb ft. As before power is sent only to the front wheels, meaning the 0-62mph time is still a relatively sedate, grip-limited 5.4 seconds.

Still, that’s an improvement of 0.2 seconds on the standard car. And of course ABT has removed the 155mph top-speed limiter, because Autobahn, so now the TCR can reach a weirdly precise 164.6mph.

This added speed is thanks to a relatively straightforward ECU upgrade. After all, this 2.0-litre engine is the same one that’s in the Golf R, Leon Cupra R and so-on, so we know it’s good for more power.

We’d be tempted to stick with the ECU mods and leave it at that, but naturally ABT will sell you chassis mods too, in the form of a height-adjustable suspension kit, new springs and a set of anti-roll bars. You also get the pick of its range of alloy wheels – these ones are 20-inches in diameter and painted black.

Tempted by ABTs tuned GTI, or would you stick with the Civic or Megane?

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