The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR is finally here and will arrive in UK showrooms in March as the brand’s latest flagship hot hatch. It was first shown as a concept at 2018 Worthersee Festival in Austria and boasts a tuned engine, a redesigned exterior and a tweaked exterior. Prices are estimated to start from £34,000 which is a small premium over the standard Golf GTI.
Naturally, the TCR’s performance is improved over the “Performance Pack” GTI. The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot has been reworked to produce 286bhp, compared to the standard GTI’s 242bhp. Torque figures have remained the same at 370Nm but, thanks to an optional speed limited removal, the top speed increases from 155mph to 164mph.
The TCR’s engine will send its power to the front wheels through a seven speed dual-clutch gearbox with a locking differential. Thanks to the extra power, the TCR sprints from 0-62mph in a claimed 5.6 seconds; another improvement compared to the standard GTI’s 6.2 seconds.
Volkswagen will use the TCR as an opportunity to realign and bolster the GTI range, after the base-model car was removed from sale last year due to increasingly stringent WLTP emissions regulations. The addition of the TCR means Volkswagen will once again offer two Golf GTI models: the entry-level “Performance Pack” car and the range-topping “TCR.”
VW will also offer a Performance Package for the TCR. The upgrade drops the car’s suspension by 20mm and adds VW’s Dynamic Chassis Control, adaptive dampers and 19-inch alloy wheels and a set of drilled brake discs with uprated calipers and pads. Pricing for the package is yet to be announced.
Subtle styling tweaks set the TCR apart from lesser GTI models. A deeper front splitter and side skirts are complimented by a more aggressive rear diffuser, a large rear wing and TCR puddle lights. Of the five exterior colours, three (red, white and the TCR-exclusive Pure Grey) are available with a contrasting black roof.
Inside, the TCR’s sports seats are trimmed in a mix of fabric and microfibre in a unique black and red design, and the leather-trimmed steering wheel gets contrasting red stitching and a matching 12 o’clock stripe. All of this is expected to be offered on UK cars.
There’s no official line on production numbers yet, but as the GTI’s biggest-selling market worldwide, the UK is likely to receive a generous allocation. TCR prices are still to be confirmed but expect to pay somewhere in the region of £34,000.
Now read our review of the Volkswagen Golf R. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…