The Golf GTI TCR Is The Most Powerful GTI You Can Buy Right Now, But Not For the U.S.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR is a hardcore GTI focused at amateur track day enthusiasts, and it’s heavily inspired by one thing - the TCR competition. No, it is not a race car, but a production, roadworthy hot hatch that spruced out of a four year long TCR competition. Volkswagen has been part of the TCR touring car series since 2016 with the awesome GTI based racer.

Since the inaugural TCR season in 2015, the TCR touring car series saw a number of cool entries. Including the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR, the Subaru WRX TCR, and, as you may have noticed if you followed our coverage of the 2019 Detroit Motor Show, the Hyundai Veloster N TCR. It is quite an impressive competition that already gave birth to some cool cars. Like the N badged Hyundais for example.

Back on the streets, the new Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR will fight its fight against the Hyundai i30 N, the Honda Civic Type R (also in the TCR competition), the Renault Megane RS and the RS Trophy, among many others.

The 2019 Golf GTI TCR Is Quick, It’s Cool, And Ready For The Track

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
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This is not the first time we’ve seen the Golf GTI TCR. A production concept appeared at 2018’s Wörthersee show in Austria. Back then, Volkswagen even announced that it would take preorders for the car. This means that anyone who wants one now should hurry to the dealership, or his/her luck has already run out. Nevertheless, the Golf GTI TCR is a Volkswagen lover’s dream. But not in the U.S. It’s a European affair after all.

The style is clearly all GTI, but with a small twist.

Volkswagen garnished its exterior with a front splitter, new roof spoiler, rear diffuser, side sills, and black mirror caps.

Look closely and note the drilled brake discs and the LEDs up front. It’s loaded up and freshened up compared to the regular GTI.

And it’s far more powerful with the 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-banger that’s massaged to deliver 286 horsepower. Obviously, not as much power as the Golf R, but really close. Matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the electronic gizmos that act as the limited-slip diff, the GTI TCR will shoot to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds and reach 155 mph. On standard 18-inch Belvedere forged wheels, that is.

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
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Now, that’s not all. Volkswagen crafted two special packages that can raise the top speed to 161 mph and make the GTI TCR do some other stuff better.

The first package that costs $2,700 in Germany brings 19-inch wheels with 235/35 R 19 tires, that six-mph top speed upgrade, differently tuned rear dampers, and the DCC adaptive chassis control.

Add a grand more and Volkswagen will sell you a track-day ready machine with Pretoria 19-inch wheels shod in 235/35 Semi slicks.

The package includes all the gizmos the less expensive package brought forth. Plus, you’ll get the wheel locks with anti-theft protection.

Final Thoughts

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
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I can see the Golf GTI TRC fight the streets with hardcore versions of already available FWD hot hatches.

That means it will go against the Megane RS Trophy, the 270 horsepower i30 N, the top-notch Peugeot 308 GTi, or even the Seat Leon Cupra. However, there is yet another reason for its existence. Back in 2016, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S became the Nurburgring FWD king. That with a 400-unit limited-edition FWD Golf GTI. At the same time, the Golf GTI Clubsport was up for sale with 261 horsepower. Or, with an overboost, with 286 horsepower for 10 seconds. The new one has 286 horsepower whenever you want it to.

And it is a tad nicer inside with the sports seat, perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel and a digital instrument display.

You’d have to cash out $44,360 for the GTI TCR. In Germany, that is.

Further reading

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Concept
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Concept.

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

2018 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf

2018 Volkswagen Golf Variant High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Variant

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