This new 286-horsepower Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR is the fastest and most powerful front-wheel drive Golf ever
Well our New Year’s wishlist is already going nowhere because no one will listen – instead of blank switches, we’re being presented with another high-budget hot hatch.
Granted, this seems a good ‘un. The new Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR is the hottest yet, in the hot hatch nameplate’s 43-year history. The first one back in 1976 had a hundred or so horsepower, and this latest model puts down 286bhp to the front wheels. This makes the 2019 GTI TCR the most powerful front-wheel drive VW in history and the fastest GTI ever.
Besides new bits like LED headlights and a new display, the car features a limited slip differential, new body-hugging seats, exclusive steering wheel (flat-bottomed, obviously), and distinguishing 18-inch wheels. Taking a cue from the TCR race version of the Golf, the GTI TCR sports a body kit with a new front splitter, roof spoiler, and rear diffuser, but you can additionally spec carbon mirror caps, black painted roof, bigger 19-inch wheels, plus a delimiter which lets the car top out at 260km/h.
With a seven-speed double-clutch transmission fitted (it’s the only ‘box you can have with the GTI TCR), this hot hatch will do zero to 100km/h in a claimed 5.6 seconds, which means it’s a couple of tenths quicker than the Renault Megane RS we tested last year. This is despite the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine’s torque figure remaining the same at 370Nm, because the power in the GTI TCR has gone up to 286bhp. Compared to a regular GTI’s 242bhp this is a big bump.
The suspension gets an upgrade too, with a 20mm drop and stiffer dampers. Prices in Europe are expected to start from the equivalent of around AED160,000, but the exact arrival date of the Golf GTI TCR has’t been announced by Volkswagen yet. It’s safe to assume the GTI TCR is the seventh-generation Golf’s run-out special, because the wider and longer Mk8 is due for a reveal before this summer.