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VW Golf GTI TCR: New touring car launched

Volkswagen has launched a new Golf-based TCR touring car, which is eligible to race in various series around the world

Volkswagen has revealed a new Golf touring car, which is based around the five-door GTI. Designed to be eligible for 16 TCR touring car championships around the globe – a new international touring car championship started in 2015.

Due to the series’ regulations, the TCR remains front-wheel drive, explaining the decision to name it after the GTI rather than the hotter road-going four-wheel drive R. Not to mention the fact that the Golf GTI name is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

As you might expect, Volkswagen has drawn off the knowledge and success of sister brand SEAT, which won the inaugural season last year with the Leon Cup Racer. The Golf therefore shares the tuned version of the EA888 engine, which produces 325bhp and 302lb ft of torque in this form. Most of the car’s underpinnings, being based on the same MQB platform, will be shared across the two brands.

Externally its wide wheel arches – housing 40cm wider suspension than the production car – are the defining features, while the huge rear wing makes the Golf’s racing intentions perfectly clear. The car’s aggressive-looking front splitter is also part of the overall aerodynamic package.

Regulations dictate that the car’s minimum weight can be 1250kg with the car’s standard transmission, or 1280kg with a racing ‘box. The weight penalty is one that VW is happy to take, as it has decided to go with the six-speed sequential unit. The Golf’s suspension is fundamentally unchanged from the standard road car in layout, meaning Macpherson struts up front and a multi-link set-up at the rear, but there is obviously a lot more adjustability for track use.

As you might expect, this extreme Golf is extremely limited edition, with just 20 built by Volkswagen Motorsport. Although the price hasn’t been revealed, it’s largely irrelevant, as all 20 have already been sold!

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