While it’s getting ready to launch the all-new Golf Mk8, Volkswagen has also introduced the Golf GTI TCR that’s based on the current generation of its best-selling hatch.
With the 400R not happening after all, this is quite likely the swansong of the seventh-gen Golf. And it’s one of the best front-wheel drive hot hatches currently on the market.
Competing with the likes of the Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megane RS, the Golf GTI TCR is supposed to be the road-legal version of VW’s touring car. In all fairness, it’s probably closer to an improved and more powerful GTI Performance and the successor of the GTI Clubsport. It’s 45 PS (44 hp / 34 kW) more powerful than the latter, as the 2.0-liter turbocharged four pushes out 290 PS (286 hp / 213 kW), or just 10 PS (10 hp / 7 kW) less than the all-wheel drive Golf R.
Aided by the punchy engine and other upgrades in the oily bits, the Golf GTI TCR needs 5.6 seconds to sprint from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph). It tops out at 250 km/h (155 mph), but Volkswagen claims top speed can optionally be increased by 10 km/h (6 mph).
We already talked about the exterior and interior updates of the car, which set it apart from the Golf GTI Performance. However, you can check them out in detail by watching the following video, which also highlights the turbo-four soundtrack and shows it accelerating to almost 150 km/h (93 mph) from a standstill. The footage ends with some track action, so don’t forget to turn up the volume before hitting the play button.