With 290 horsepower, the new 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR is inspired by a championship/winning race car and will be going into production as the fastest Golf GTI ever
Back in the 1970s Wolfsburg bosses only agreed to let the Golf GTI skunkworks team to build 5,000 of these super-Golfs. At a crucial time for VOlkswagen, a conservative company that had never really built anything but the air-cooled Beetle up to that point, a sports car was against the executives’ wishes, but 5,000 was deemed enough to quell the rogue engineers who worked weekends and after hours in secret to realise the Golf’s giant-killing potential.
In the end the story goes the 1976 Golf GTI was so successful they forgot to count them at the factory and once the number long surpassed the 5,000 limit, Volkswagen simply never stopped building them. Over four decades later 2.2 million Golf GTIs have been sold, so this year at the GTI festival on the shores of the Austrian lake Wörthersee, for some 125,000 of the gathering faithful, Wolfsburg sent over a Golf GTI TCR that will be heading to production later this year with a top speed of 264kph and 290 horsepower.
Inspired by the championship winning race car in the international TCR series, the 2019 Golf GTI TCR features a front limited-slip differential as standard kit, and delivers its peak turbocharged power between 5,000 and 6,400rpm. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine makes 370Nm of torque put to the fronts through a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, two pedals only.
As the Golf GTI flagship this is also the most powerful GTI yet, but compared to the 350bhp race car it’s still respectfully down the pecking order. The TCR model also comes perfectly timed to fight it out in the hot hatchback war with the newly-arrived Renault Mégane RS, which you can read about from Motormouth’s test drive here.