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A race-inspired 286bhp VW Golf GTI TCR is incoming

De-limited 164mph Golf GTI inbound for the festival of fanboys

Fast Golf anoraks: have your spotters’ guides at the ready. Beyond the ranks of Golf GTI, Golf R and Golf Clubsport, you’ve got a new version to learn. This is the VW Golf GTI TCR.

That’s TCR as in Touring Car Racing, not long-dead Scalextric Rival Total Control Racing. See, this new super-Golf is intended to be the road-going version of the off-the-shelf GTI TCR touring car. VW will sell you the stripped out, slicks-shot, wings-and-tings version for £95k, and off you trot to swap paint with the Seat Leon and Peugeot 308 TCR racers.

Of course, it’s not road-legal, and since the VW Clubsport S sold out, the Germans have had an extreme GTI-sized hole in the streetable fast Golf family. At the Worthersee festival of Volkswagen Group fanboyism, that hole gets plugged.

The GTI TCR’s 2.0-litre turbo engine develops 286bhp – 50bhp more than a GTI Performance Pack – but 20bhp less than the Clubsport S which once held the Nürburgring front-drive lap record. Then something called the Honda Civic Type R happened.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Because the TCR is racecar-inspired, it uses VW’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as standard. Geeks will remember the Clubsport S was manual only, because it was supposed to be the true old-school enthusiast’s fantasy spec.

So, the paddleshift car ought to be quicker through the gears than the three-pedal car, even though it’s down on raw poke. It’s also fitted with a locking front differential as standard. Meanwhile, the 155mph limiter has been junked, so this GTI can reach a top speed of 164mph. That’s only 5mph less than the Type R. Lap record rematch, anyone?

We’ll see the TCR in full next week. Reckon we’re about to discover a new sweet spot in the ranks of go-faster Golf-kind?

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