I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I first saw the Golf GTI TCR.  I wondered if it would be a hardcore road legal racing car or just a marketing ploy? It is inspired by the Golf GTI racing car from the international TCR racing series.

One thing’s for certain….this is VW’s swan song for the current Golf model. The car chatter amongst us is that there will be an all-new Mk 8 Golf arriving towards the end of the year.    

So, this race inspired model has increased power from its 2.0 litre engine. It now produces 290 PS and 380 Nm of torque.  There isn’t a manual version on offer….just the slick 7 speed DSG gearbox.

You eagle eyed GTI fans out there would’ve already noticed that the Golf GTI TCR has revised bumpers.  The front bumper has additional cooling for the hike in its engine power and the rear diffuser incorporated in the bumper is now black.  Other TCR features include matte black door mirrors, bigger roof spoiler and TCR logo low on the rear door.  I will have to amit that I do not like the big honeycomb side decals on this car.  I am glad to write this is an option and If I was going to order one for myself I would definitely not choose it (it’s a personal choice, I can see why people would choose it but I think the car looks cleaner without it).  Golf GTI fans (including myself) would instantly recognise how special your Golf GTI TCR is.

Inside has that familiar ergonomic Golf GTI interior look and feel but with new exclusive “TCR Red” trimmed seats.  When I first saw the Golf GTI TCR (at this year’s Geneva Motor Show) I couldn’t stop running my fingers along the grey part of the seat material…. it feels relaxing (as strange as that sounds)!

VW have added the race inspired 12 o’clock red marker on the nicely sized steering wheel and the interior has flashes of Alcantara.

This Golf GTI TCR is VW’s press car and it had a few optional extras added to it.  The main optional extra added was the GTI TCR Performance Pack (£2,900).

This option includes 19 inch Pretoria Black alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension (around 20mm), Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) and derestricted top speed (164 mph).

What I found interesting  (rightly or wrongly) was that I expected more “theatre” from this car.  When driving on the twisty part of the Millbrook Test Circuit, it reminded me of my 1990 Corrado 1.8 16 valve I used to own.  The handling of my Corrado felt very predictable, reassuring and safe.  This GTI TCR also had that same familiar feeling to it. When driving into a corner at pace….it handled flat with minimum fuss. Its mechanical limited slip diff works wonders to allow the front tyres to grip in and out of the corners.  The electric power steering is direct and pleasantly weighted.  It reacted to all my driving inputs in an excellent and obedient way. After long hard reflection, I came to the conclusion it was a good and solid car to drive.  It feels like an every day car.  I do think that I would need more time on test with it, but my first impression is that the Golf GTI is a “grown up hot hatch”.  It isn’t as involving to drive as the other hot hatches on the market and it probably is not the fastest – point to point….but it could be the best all-round daily driver and user friendly car (if you don’t treat every journey as if you are on a race track)!!   

We Blog Any Car stats;

  • 2.0 litre TSI 4 cylinder turbo engine
  • 290 PS power
  • 380 Nm of torque
  • 5.6 seconds 0 to 62 mph
  • 164 mph top speed
  • 7 speed DSG gearbox
  • 153 CO2 emissions
  • £35,305.00 prices start from.

Previous Golf GTI TCR news blog below.