As the fastest, most powerful production Golf GTI ever made (bar the Golf Clubsport S limited-run special), the TCR is certainly an intriguing proposition for GTI fans.
Bridging the gap between the Golf GTI Performance and the Golf R, the TCR offers 290 PS (286 hp) at 5,400-6,400 rpm and 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) of torque constantly available from 1,950 to 5,300 rpm.
Linked to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine enables the GTI TCR to go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.6 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) — optionally unlimited to 260 km/h (162 mph).
Those are impressive numbers for a front-wheel-drive Golf and they’ll certainly help bring people into showrooms. But what’s the Golf GTI TCR like to drive? We get the first answer from Autogefuhl which got up close and personal with the Golf GTI TCR both on the racetrack and on public roads at the model’s media drive event in Portugal.
As always with Autogefuhl’s videos, it’s a long presentation that lasts almost three-quarters of an hour so you’ll find absolutely everything you need to know about the range-topping Golf GTI. Skipping to the driving impressions, the Golf GTI TCR proves to be a sharp tool on the racetrack — certainly much sharper than the Golf GTI Performance and even the Golf R.
Surprisingly for an FWD car, the reviewer says there’s not much understeer as the GTI TCR features a front differential lock. As a result, there’s lots of grip available, and the semi-slick tires contribute to that as well on the track. The beautiful thing about the motorsport-inspired GTI TCR is when you’re done hooning it on the track it becomes a comfortable and practical hatchback you can drive on public roads like any other car.