The Golf GTI celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and this new Golf GTI TCR marks the momentous occasion. The limited-edition car is essentially the racing version of the road-going GTI that will compete in this year’s TCR touring car championships.
Jointly developed by the motorsport divisions at Volkswagen and SEAT, the race car sits on a chassis that is 400 mm wider than the production Golf, complemented by the bulging wheel arches, 18-inch wheels, front splitter and a rear wing that is large enough to double as a picnic bench.
Naturally, the cabin is stripped out to make room for the safety cage, along with the race-spec seat with head protector and FIA-approved fuel tank. As a result, the Golf GTI TCR tips the scale at 1,280 kg with its driver, making it almost 200 kg lighter than the standard GTI.
It is powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that drives the Golf R, though in this spec it is tuned to deliver 330 PS and 410 Nm of torque. Tasked with channeling the power to the front axle is a six-speed sequential transmission that comes with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Performance-wise, the Golf GTI TCR needs just 5.2 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h.
According to Volkswagen, only 20 of these will be made, and every single one has found its owner. That said, you can see the Golf GTI TCR in action when the TCR International Series kicks off next month in Bahrain.
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR –
330-hp Golf for customer racing receives GTI seal of quality
40 years of GTI: TCR version for the racetrack, Golf GTI Clubsport for the road Production-based touring car to be delivered to teams mid-March
– All 20 Golf GTI TCRs developed by Volkswagen Motorsport already taken
Wolfsburg (04 March 2016). The new Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR has the seal of quality in its name: 40 years after the launch of the first Golf GTI, the customer racing version also possesses the acronym that, since 1976, has been synonymous with the Wolfsburg-based car maker’s sporting character, powerful engines and maximum performance. Since it was first unveiled in July 2015, the Golf has been hugely popular on the racetracks of this world: all the customer racing models for the 2016 season had already been snapped up by mid- January. The teams can field the 20 cars, which were developed by Volkswagen Motorsport, in up to 16 national and international TCR touring car championships. The cars for the international TCR championship in Abrera/Barcelona (E) are to be handed over to the customer racing teams from 11th March. An initial roll-out with the opposition is planned for the test drives at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia (E) from 14th March.
Dynamic appearance: Production-based Golf GTI TCR embodies racing genes
The acronym GTI stands for Gran Turismo Injection and is more than just a seal of quality – it is a trademark and an identity. Even to look at, the Golf makes no secret of its motor racing genes: 18-inch racing rims, a chassis that is roughly 40 centimetres wider than the production Golf, and a striking rear wing also guarantee optimal handling. An aerodynamic front splitter and carbon rear wing are among the modifications for the racetrack. Among the features that ensure maximum safety for the driver are a racing seat with head protectors, racing safety cage, and an FIA-approved safety tank.
Powerful and efficient: turbo engine with direct fuel inject, generating 330 hp
A powerful straight four-cylinder engine, a sequential gearbox with shift paddles located on the steering wheel, a consistently developed racing chassis – the new Golf has been meticulously prepared for its outings on the racetracks of this world. Volkswagen Motorsport developed the car in cooperation with the sport department at SEAT. This made it possible to call on the extensive experience gained with the SEAT Leon Cup Racer. As with the Volkswagen Group’s production cars, the MQB platform also offers many synergies when it comes to racing cars, thus reducing the costs involved in assembling and running the touring car. The 2-litre turbo engine with direct fuel injection is the same one used in the top sporting model, the Golf R. The racing version generates 243 kW (330 hp) and produces 410 Nm of torque.
Successful start: Concept car shows great potential at TCR outings
The racing car based on the seventh generation of Golf has already enjoyed success in competition: in 2015, cooperation partner Liqui Moly Team Engstler fielded two cars in the TCR International Series. The production-based concept car showed great potential: at its first race weekend, the Golf promptly won the second race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport: The most powerful production GTI ever celebrates its anniversary
The racetrack is not the only place the Golf GTI is celebrating its 40th birthday. To mark the anniversary, Volkswagen is launching the most powerful production GTI ever: the Golf GTI Clubsport. Volkswagen presented sketches of the new car at the GTI meeting at the Wörthersee in May 2015, before unveiling a production model at the International Motor Show (IAA) in September. The 2-litre TFSI engine generates 265 hp – that is 35 hp more than the previous most powerful Golf GTI. Another feature of the turbocharged direct-injection engine is a boost function, which allows the driver to briefly increase the engine power by ten per cent to 290 hp.
TCR International Series – Calendar
22/04–24/04/2016 Portugal (Estoril)
06/05–08/05/2016 Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
20/05–22/05/2016 Italy (Monza)
03/06–05/06/2016 Austria (Salzburg)
17/06–19/06/2016 Germany (Oschersleben)
01/07–03/07/2016 Russia (Sochi)
26/08–28/08/2016 Thailand (Buriram)
30/09–02/10/2016 Malaysia (Sepang)*