With 290 PS, this front-wheel drive Golf GTI TCR Concept makes the same power as the all-wheel drive Golf R. The biggest difference between the two is that the GTI TCR is a road legal version of its namesake equivalent from the TCR International race series, while the Golf R gives more consideration for everyday comfort and all-weather performance.
With 290 PS and 370 Nm, the GTI TCR bridges the gap between the standard Golf GTI (230 PS and 350 Nm) and the Golf R (290 PS and 380 Nm). Volkswagen says it’s the fastest GTI of the model range, but we need to point out that it is however, not the fastest GTI ever because that honour goes to the 310 PS and 380 Nm GTI ClubSport S, which is no longer offered for the current Mk 7.5 generation facelifted Golf.
Right now, the car seen here is still a concept but it is very likely to go into production by the end of this year. It was unveiled earlier today at Volkswagen’s annual GTI fans festival, better known as the Reifnitz am Wörthersee in Austria.
The display car seen here in the pictures was equipped with rear diffusers at the lower rear bumper, twin Titan-Abgasanlage Akrapovic titanium exhausts, 19-inch wheels wearing Continental ContiSport Contact tyres, cross-drilled brakes in front and ventilated discs behind, Vmax sports suspension (still with adaptive DCC) that rides 20 mm lower than a standard GTI.
Styling enhancements include TCR lettering on the side skirts and decals cut in the GTI’s signature honeycomb motive. The side mirrors’ puddle lamp also project the TCR lettering onto the ground every time the car is unlocked.
Inside, the sports seats have the GTI logo etched on it and are trimmed in microfibre/fabric materials, while the door inserts and gear knob cover are finished in microfibre. The standard car’s flat bottom steering wheel now has a race car-style red marker at 12 o’ clock.
Under the bonnet, the engine remains the same 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI unit, but with a new turbocharger that goes up to 1.3 bar of boost, as well as two extra radiators. The transmission is still the same DSG 7-speed dry-type dual-clutch automatic transmission but a mechanical locking differential now mediates between the front wheels and the transmission.
Like most German cars, the GTI TCR’s speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h but buyers can have the option to raise this to 264 km/h.
The race specs GTI TCR is sold as a customer racing series car, and makes 350 PS and 420 Nm from the same engine, mated to the same 7-speed DSG transmission. The car is currently raced by team Liqui Moly Team Engstle, which is now the leading team in the TCR Asia series.