Golf GTI TCR

The latest evolution of a true motoring icon has arrived in the shape of the Golf GTI TCR. This 290 PS (213 kW) hot hatch is the latest in a long line of sporting Golfs that have become the measure by which all others in their class are calibrated.

Inspired by, and derived from, the race car of the same name – twice the overall winner of the international TCR (Touring Car Racing) series – the new Golf GTI TCR tops off the current GTI range in the UK.

Introduction
Summary
Market information
Exterior design
Interior design
Engine, transmission and running gear
GTI history
Technical data
Servicing
Warranty

INTRODUCTION

The latest evolution of a true motoring icon has arrived in the shape of the Golf GTI TCR. This 290 PS (213 kW) hot hatch is the latest in a long line of sporting Golfs that have become the measure by which all others in their class are calibrated.

Inspired by, and derived from, the race car of the same name – twice the overall winner of the international TCR (Touring Car Racing) series – the new Golf GTI TCR tops off the current GTI range in the UK.

Indeed, the new model takes the GTI nomenclature up a notch in terms of power and performance. Its 290 PS power peak – a full-time peak here, unlike the ‘boost’ peak available in the former GTI Clubsport Edition 40 – is channelled through a seven-speed DSG (dual clutch) gearbox and carries this new model from rest to 62 mph in a spirited 5.6 seconds and on to a top speed of as much as 162 mph.

The new GTI’s performance is as accessible as it is impressive. The 290 PS power peak arrives at 5,400 rpm while all 380 Nm of torque is on offer from a mere at 1,800 rpm, and remains available until 5,300 rpm. Indeed, a meaningful 200 Nm is on tap at just 1,000 rpm, essentially little more than tickover. Together with the almost instant shifting nature of the standard-fit DSG, these power and torque profiles combine to make the GTI TCR feel as willing and responsive as its peak figures imply.     

Significantly more potent than the 245 PS GTI Performance – the new ‘entry level’ for Golf GTI buyers in the UK – the road-going Golf GTI TCR is, understandably, equipped with a raft of high performance engineering and electronic aids to help its driver wring every ounce of enjoyment out of this lively front-wheel drive model.

A front-axle mechanical differential lock; perforated brake discs; driving profile selection; and grippy premium front sport seats underscore the GTI TCR’s intent, as does technology such as Front Assist and LED headlights. Further, to provide appropriate cooling to handle the increased engine power in any situation, the Golf GTI TCR has been equipped with two extra water radiators in front, as also seen in the all-wheel drive Golf R.

The factory-fit titanium Akrapovic exhaust system of the Golf GTI TCR has been tuned for the increased performance, and was made standard equipment from the 2020 model year onward. As with the GTI Performance, the tailpipes are arranged on the left and right of the rear diffuser.

The GTI TCR’s motorsport genes are never far from the surface. A striking font splitter (front spoiler), rear diffuser, and TCR roof edge spoiler mark it out as a track-derived road car as, inside, do the subtle but effective styling differences which include a new microfibre/fabric design for the seat trim, seat belts with red edging, plus an exclusive sports steering wheel. As with the racing series, this last item is of particular note since its perforated leather is specially imprinted at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions as well as with a trademark red strip at 12 o'clock.

Externally, the standard-fit 18-inch Belvedere forged alloy wheels, black exterior mirror caps, and sill extensions enhance the car’s visual appeal while the optional honeycomb décor foil, black painted roof and carbon fibre effect door mirror caps are among the additions available to further mark out the GTI TCR as an extra special performance Golf.

Even at night the newcomer is a standout car. The TCR logo is projected onto the road from beneath the door mirrors when the front doors are opened.

For those in search of the ultimate GTI TCR, an optional performance package adds 19-inch ‘Reifnitz’ alloy wheels, Dynamic Chassis Control with 20 mm lower body and unrestricted top speed (162 mph). This package can be enhanced yet further by the optional addition of semi-slick sports tyres on 19-inch ‘Pretoria’ alloy wheels.

Newly on offer for the Golf GTI TCR is the colour Pure Grey. The other available colours have been GTI classics from the start: Pure White, Tornado Red, Deep Black Pearl Effect and Oryx White Pearl Effect. Combined with Pure Grey, Pure White and Tornado Red, there is the option to order the roof in the contrasting colour Black.

Welcoming the arrival of the brand’s principal GTI Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: “The arrival of any new Golf GTI is always a big moment but, with the debut of this exclusive and track-inspired car, I think we are seeing the birth of a future GTI icon.

“The GTI TCR’s 290 PS front-wheel drive set-up and stunning looks, along with the established quality, reliability and engineering excellence that Volkswagen brings to all of its cars, promises to make this hot hatch a ‘must-have’ for discerning buyers.” 

Around 2.3 million Golf GTI models have been built and sold since the model debuted in the mid ‘70s, and today’s Golf GTI TCR is poised to continue that sales success. Indeed the UK is an especially important market for the Golf GTI, with around one in three Golfs sold in the UK being a performance model (GTI, GTD and R).

The new car opened for order here in February, with first deliveries beginning in early April. It is expected that around 1,000 examples of the Golf GTI TCR will be available in right-hand drive form in the UK, with all of those anticipated to be snapped up by retail customers during the remainder of 2019.      

SUMMARY

  • The latest chapter in the Volkswagen Golf GTI story: the new Golf GTI TCR is inspired by the race-going car of the same name
  • In the 44th year of Golf GTI production, the GTI TCR pays tribute to the most powerful production car yet to wear the GTI badge – the Golf GTI TCR racer
  • A performance highlight of the seventh-generation Golf GTI: the new GTI TCR combines race-derived detailing with upgraded performance
  • Power and torque upgrades over Golf GTI Performance: 290 PS at 5,400 - 6,400 rpm (245 PS at 5,000 - 6,200rpm) and 380 Nm at 1,800 – 5,300 rpm, with 200 Nm available at 1,000 rpm (370 Nm at 1600 – 4300 rpm)
  • The new GTI performance champion: 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds, with optional derestricted top speed of 162 mph
  • Shares the axle locking differential with Golf GTI Performance for optimised traction and handling around faster bends
  • Motorsport genes: front splitter (front spoiler), rear diffuser and TCR roof edge spoiler
  • Race-inspired equipment: a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel with a red 12 o'clock stripe, a new sports seat design and 18-inch forged wheels
  • Superior braking system: the Golf GTI TCR is equipped with a high-performance braking system as standard, with perforated discs and special brake pads
  • Improved cooling: two extra water radiators in the front – as with the 300 PS, 4MOTION all-wheel drive Golf R
  • Broad equipment list includes 18-inch ‘Belvedere’ alloy wheels, Active Info Display, Composition Media infotainment system with 8-speaker sound system
  • Optional performance package adds 19-inch ‘Reifnitz’ alloy wheels, Dynamic Chassis Control with 20 mm lower body and unrestricted top speed. Package including semi-slick sports tyres on 19-inch ‘Pretoria’ wheels is an additional option
  • Design closely mirrors that of the Golf GTI TCR Concept, first revealed at the Wörthersee GTI meeting in 2018
  • The latest special edition GTI in the seventh-generation Golf’s life cycle, following the Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40 and Golf GTI Clubsport S
  • Golf GTI TCR builds upon the legacy of the iconic Golf GTI, which has sold nearly 2.3 million units across seven generations since the Mk1 GTI in 1976
  • Golf is the biggest-selling model in the Volkswagen range in the UK, accounting for approximately one in three new Volkswagens sold here
  • The UK is an especially important market for the Golf GTI, with around one in three Golfs sold in the UK being a performance model (GTI, GTD and R)
  • Orders open February 2019, first deliveries of UK cars in March

Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR (race version) information

  • Acceleration to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph – limited by the specific transmission ratio
  • Power output of 350 PS and maximum torque of 420 Nm, produced by the same 2.0-litre TSI engine used in the Golf GTI Performance and Golf GTI TCR
  • Body is 15 cm wider than the road-going Golf, rear wing is adjustable and made from aluminium
  • Inside, a racing bucket seat features head protectors, while a racing safety cell and safety tank help to meet FIA regulations
  • More than 100 produced by hand and delivered to customer race teams since 2016, priced at €95,000 plus local taxes
  • Model was updated for the 2018 racing season in line with its road-going Golf GTI counterpart

MARKET INFORMATION

Golf is the biggest-selling model in the Volkswagen range in the UK, accounting for approximately one in three new Volkswagens sold here each year. In 2018 a total of 66,790 new Golfs were sold in the UK.

Around 2.3 million Golf GTI models have been built and sold worldwide since the car’s debut in the mid ‘70s, out of a total of more than 35 million Golfs manufactured to date.

Today’s Golf GTI TCR is poised to continue that sales success. Indeed the UK is an especially important market for the Golf GTI, with around one in three Golfs sold in the UK being a performance model (GTI, GTD, GTE and R).

The new car opens for order here in February 2019, with first deliveries beginning the following month.    

Production

Situated on the banks of Mittellandkanal, an inland artificial waterway, Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant is the world’s largest single car-manufacturing complex and covers an area of more than 3.7 square miles – that’s an area large enough to accommodate the entire Principality of Monaco.

The network of roads connecting the individual production facilities, warehouses, administration buildings and outdoor facilities covers a distance of 46 miles, with 43 miles of railway tracks accommodating seven locomotives, two shunting robots and a traverse.

The Golf family is built here, along with the Tiguan SUV and Touran MPV. In addition to these whole models, the site also makes components – an important mainstay on the plant portfolio – such as cardan drive shafts and injection-moulded parts, which are either used in production at the plant itself or supplied to other Group production sites.

Around 820,000 vehicles were built at Wolfsburg in 2018 and some 60,500 people were employed there. A total of more than 45 million Volkswagen cars have been made on the factory lines at Wolfsburg since series production started there in December 1945.

EXTERIOR DESIGN

The Golf GTI TCR’s distinctive look is proof positive of its racing DNA. The strongest GTI in the current model range has a sharply cut, high-gloss black splitter on the front as an additional front spoiler, like those used in motorsport.

Also new are the high-gloss black sill caps in the side panel, their lines are optically extended into the rear section. Here they meet a strikingly designed diffuser – similar to the side sills and the front splitter in so far as they are finished in the same gloss black – and the left and right exterior integrated single tailpipes of the exhaust system. At the rear, however, the dynamic line of the roof section transitions into the gloss black spoiler.

A new colour – Pure Grey – is on offer for the Golf GTI TCR to help mark it out as the most special of Golf GTIs currently available to buy new.  

The other colours on offer are longstanding Volkswagen classics. Pure White, Tornado Red, Deep Black Pearl Effect and Oryx White Pearl Effect can be specified. Those buyers opting for Pure Grey, Pure White or Tornado Red may, optionally, order the roof in a contrasting black colour.

Also presented in black are the matt-painted exterior mirror caps (optionally available with a carbon fibre look) and the ‘TCR’ lettering above the sills. Additionally, on request, the vehicle flanks on the left and right of the B-pillar can be adorned with a honeycomb-pattern decor foil.

Underscoring its appeal even at night, the Golf GTI TCR boasts puddle lights which project the TCR logo onto the road surface when the front doors are opened. Meanwhile, the stainless steel sill panel trim also features a red illuminated element.

Other notable, and classic GTI, exterior features include the iconic red stripes in the radiator grille and the standard LED headlights. Meanwhile, at the rear, the red LED lights sit behind darkened lenses.

INTERIOR DESIGN

When it comes to functionality and ergonomics, the Golf excels. For a more controlled driving experience, the centre console is angled slightly towards the driver. This ensures both the touch-screen of the infotainment system and the controls for the air conditioning and heating are easy to reach, with every switch and display intuitively to hand.

While it of course shares the design elegance and practicality of every current Golf, drivers and passengers in the new GTI TCR sit in specially-crafted microfibre and fabric sports seats.

The flanks of the seat and backrest, as well as the sides and back of the seats, are finished in Anthracite-coloured microfibre while the striped fabric centre seat panels feature the contrasting colour Flash Red on a black background.

The stitching on the seats, the centre armrest (front) and head restraints, as well as seat belt edges and contrasting seams on the door coverings, the DSG gearshift and the three-spoke sports steering wheel also feature contrasting red highlights.

Supporting the ‘track car’ look of the TCR racing series, the leather covered steering wheel is specially imprinted with perforated leather at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions. It also gains a red centring stripe 12 o'clock mark.

As with the seats, the door inserts and the gearknob are trimmed in microfibre. Meanwhile, the Flash Red colour of the seats and seams is incorporated by the standard ambient lighting in the door sills. Continuing the red theme are the coloured graphics of the standard-fit Discover Media infotainment system.

ENGINE, TRANSMISSION & RUNNING GEAR

This road-going version of the Golf GTI TCR track car – twice overall winner of the international TCR race series – is among the most potent cars yet to sport the GTI nomenclature synonymous with Volkswagen.

The racing car’s genes naturally feed through into the GTI TCR’s powerful engine: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder, 16-valve, turbocharged unit from the EA888 family seen elsewhere in various guises, including in the revered 300 PS all-wheel drive Golf R.

Here, the 2.0-litre TSI generates 290 PS at between 5,400 rpm and 6,400 rpm, thus making it a full 45 PS more potent than the current ‘entry level’ GTI, the 245 PS Golf GTI Performance.

The torque figures naturally match these impressive power peaks. Even at 1,000 rpm – a touch above idle speed – 200 Nm of torque is available while the maximum torque of 380 Nm is available in a broad flat ‘plateau’ between 1,800 and 5,300 rpm.

This impressive power and torque is transmitted to the GTI TCR’s driven front wheels via Volkswagen’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) and a locking differential.

To provide appropriate cooling to handle the increased engine power in any situation, the Golf GTI TCR has been equipped with two extra water radiators in front, the same as the all-wheel drive Golf R.

Upgraded perforated brake discs and brake pads slow this racing offshoot just as confidently as the 2.0 TSI accelerates it.

Volkswagen’s familiar Driving Profile Selection system with ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and INDIVIDUAL modes is fitted as standard here. The latter enables the specific tuning of the steering, engine performance curve and gearbox as well as the (optional) Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC).

The GTI TCR’s factory-set maximum speed is 154 mph, but this can be increased to a ‘derestricted’ 162 mph by opting to remove the electronic limiter. The Golf covers the 0-62 mph sprint in just 5.6 seconds. The efficiency of the four-cylinder 16-valve engine combined with a petrol particulate filter is assured. Combined consumption (WLTP) is 36.2 mpg and emissions are quoted as 177 g/km

As with its siblings in the Golf range, the GTI TCR sits on the now familiar MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) – Modular Transverse Matrix platform, which means it benefits from the latest available technology and shares elements of its underpinnings with other successful new models such as the Polo, T-Roc, new T-Cross, Arteon fastback forthcoming new Passat, popular Touran MPV, latest Tiguan SUV and Tiguan Allspace seven-seat SUV.

GTI HISTORY

Today, Volkswagen has no less than three GTI models in its portfolio: the new up! GTI; the new Polo GTI; and the iconic GTI Performance. But this is not the first time such a strong GTI line-up has existed. A GTI triumvirate like this has featured twice before: most recently between 2000 and 2005. Then it was the Lupo GTI that added to the family, below the Polo and Golf. And in 1977, 41 years ago, in parallel with the Golf GTI there was the Scirocco GTI and, lesser known, the Passat GTI. The latter, however, appeared  in concept car form only. When it went into production in 1979, it was called GLI rather than GTI.

The milestones of the GTI models produced to date in summary:

1976

Golf GTI: 110 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk1)

Scirocco GTI: 110 PS at launch (based on Scirocco Mk1)

1977

Passat GTI: 110 PS concept car (based on Passat Mk1)

1981

Scirocco GTI: 110 PS at launch (based on Scirocco Mk2)

1983

Golf ‘Pirelli’ GTI: 112 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk1)

1984

Golf GTI: 112 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk2)

1986

Golf GTI 16V: 139 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk2)

1990

Golf GTI G60: 160 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk2)

1991

Golf GTI: 115 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk3)

1992

Golf GTI 16V: 150 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk3)

1996

Golf GTI ‘20 Years of the GTI’ anniversary model: 150 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk3)

1998

Polo GTI: 120 PS at launch (based on Polo Mk3)

Golf GTI: 150 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk4)

2000

Lupo GTI: 125 PS at launch

2001

Golf GTI ‘25 Years of the GTI’ anniversary model: 180 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk4)

2004

Golf GTI: 200 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk5)

2006

Polo GTI: 150 PS at launch (based on Polo Mk4)

Polo GTI Cup Edition: 180 PS at launch (based on Polo Mk4)

Golf GTI ‘30 Years of the GTI’ anniversary model: 230 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk5)

2009

Golf GTI: 210 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk6)

2010

Polo GTI: 180 PS at launch (based on Polo Mk5)

2013

Golf GTI: 220 PS and 230 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk7)

2015

Golf GTI Clubsport: 290 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk7)

2016

Golf GTI Clubsport S with 310 PS unveiled. 150 production-run sells out immediately

2017

Polo GTI: 200 PS at launch (based on Polo Mk6)

2018

up! GTI: 115 PS at launch

TECHNICAL DATA

Golf GTI TCR 2.0-litre TSI 290 PS

Engine type

Transverse-installed 2.0-litre four-cylinder in-line direct injection turbocharged engine. Fitted with four valves per cylinder and a turbocharger

Cubic capacity, ltrs/cc

1,984

Max output, PS/KW at RPM

290, 5,000-6,200 rpm

Max torque, lbs.ft/Nm at RPM

280/380, 1,950-5,300 rpm

Gearbox

7-speed DSG automatic

Gear ratios (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, R)

3.19 ; 2.75 ; 1.90 ; 1.04 ; 0.79 ; 0.86 ; 0.66 ; 2.90

Weights, kgs

Unladen weight

1410

Gross vehicle weight

1880

Payload

545

Max. roof load, with roof rails

75

Performance

Top speed, mph (km/h) where law permits

155

Acceleration, 0-62 mph (sec)

5.6

ABI insurance group, 1-50

34 E

Environmental Information

Fuel grade, minimum

Unleaded, 95 RON

Fuel tank capacity, galls/ltrs

50

Official fuel consumption, WLTP combined

36.7

Official CO2 emissions, g/km, WLTP

177

Emission class

Euro 6d TEMP

Exterior dimensions, mm

Length

4,268

Width, inc. mirrors

2,027

Width, exc. mirrors

1,790

Height

1,482

Wheelbase

2,626

Turning circle, m

10.9

Luggage capacity, litres – with rear seats upright

380

Luggage capacity, litres – with rear seats folded

1,270

 

Notes:

The progressive steering system uses the same hardware as GTI Performance, but its setup is more conducive to driving dynamics.

As a result of a lower suspension (compared with the GTI Performance), front-axle camber has increased by 3 deg. Camber is negative on both axles.

SERVICING

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf GTI TCR. They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking. In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys. The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.

In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service. A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 20,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes. An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s lifetime it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

WARRANTIES

The Golf GTI TCR, like all current Volkswagen Passenger Car models in the UK, has a three-year (first- and second-year manufacturer operated, third-year retailer-operated) / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty. In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover. The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

The latest evolution of a true motoring icon has arrived in the shape of the Golf GTI TCR. This 290 PS (213 kW) hot hatch is the latest in a long line of sporting Golfs that have become the measure by which all others in their class are calibrated.

Inspired by, and derived from, the race car of the same name – twice the overall winner of the international TCR (Touring Car Racing) series – the new Golf GTI TCR tops off the current GTI range in the UK.

Introduction
Summary
Market information
Exterior design
Interior design
Engine, transmission and running gear
GTI history
Technical data
Servicing
Warranty

INTRODUCTION

The latest evolution of a true motoring icon has arrived in the shape of the Golf GTI TCR. This 290 PS (213 kW) hot hatch is the latest in a long line of sporting Golfs that have become the measure by which all others in their class are calibrated.

Inspired by, and derived from, the race car of the same name – twice the overall winner of the international TCR (Touring Car Racing) series – the new Golf GTI TCR tops off the current GTI range in the UK.

Indeed, the new model takes the GTI nomenclature up a notch in terms of power and performance. Its 290 PS power peak – a full-time peak here, unlike the ‘boost’ peak available in the former GTI Clubsport Edition 40 – is channelled through a seven-speed DSG (dual clutch) gearbox and carries this new model from rest to 62 mph in a spirited 5.6 seconds and on to a top speed of as much as 162 mph.

The new GTI’s performance is as accessible as it is impressive. The 290 PS power peak arrives at 5,400 rpm while all 380 Nm of torque is on offer from a mere at 1,800 rpm, and remains available until 5,300 rpm. Indeed, a meaningful 200 Nm is on tap at just 1,000 rpm, essentially little more than tickover. Together with the almost instant shifting nature of the standard-fit DSG, these power and torque profiles combine to make the GTI TCR feel as willing and responsive as its peak figures imply.     

Significantly more potent than the 245 PS GTI Performance – the new ‘entry level’ for Golf GTI buyers in the UK – the road-going Golf GTI TCR is, understandably, equipped with a raft of high performance engineering and electronic aids to help its driver wring every ounce of enjoyment out of this lively front-wheel drive model.

A front-axle mechanical differential lock; perforated brake discs; driving profile selection; and grippy premium front sport seats underscore the GTI TCR’s intent, as does technology such as Front Assist and LED headlights. Further, to provide appropriate cooling to handle the increased engine power in any situation, the Golf GTI TCR has been equipped with two extra water radiators in front, as also seen in the all-wheel drive Golf R.

The factory-fit titanium Akrapovic exhaust system of the Golf GTI TCR has been tuned for the increased performance, and was made standard equipment from the 2020 model year onward. As with the GTI Performance, the tailpipes are arranged on the left and right of the rear diffuser.

The GTI TCR’s motorsport genes are never far from the surface. A striking font splitter (front spoiler), rear diffuser, and TCR roof edge spoiler mark it out as a track-derived road car as, inside, do the subtle but effective styling differences which include a new microfibre/fabric design for the seat trim, seat belts with red edging, plus an exclusive sports steering wheel. As with the racing series, this last item is of particular note since its perforated leather is specially imprinted at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions as well as with a trademark red strip at 12 o'clock.

Externally, the standard-fit 18-inch Belvedere forged alloy wheels, black exterior mirror caps, and sill extensions enhance the car’s visual appeal while the optional honeycomb décor foil, black painted roof and carbon fibre effect door mirror caps are among the additions available to further mark out the GTI TCR as an extra special performance Golf.

Even at night the newcomer is a standout car. The TCR logo is projected onto the road from beneath the door mirrors when the front doors are opened.

For those in search of the ultimate GTI TCR, an optional performance package adds 19-inch ‘Reifnitz’ alloy wheels, Dynamic Chassis Control with 20 mm lower body and unrestricted top speed (162 mph). This package can be enhanced yet further by the optional addition of semi-slick sports tyres on 19-inch ‘Pretoria’ alloy wheels.

Newly on offer for the Golf GTI TCR is the colour Pure Grey. The other available colours have been GTI classics from the start: Pure White, Tornado Red, Deep Black Pearl Effect and Oryx White Pearl Effect. Combined with Pure Grey, Pure White and Tornado Red, there is the option to order the roof in the contrasting colour Black.

Welcoming the arrival of the brand’s principal GTI Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: “The arrival of any new Golf GTI is always a big moment but, with the debut of this exclusive and track-inspired car, I think we are seeing the birth of a future GTI icon.

“The GTI TCR’s 290 PS front-wheel drive set-up and stunning looks, along with the established quality, reliability and engineering excellence that Volkswagen brings to all of its cars, promises to make this hot hatch a ‘must-have’ for discerning buyers.” 

Around 2.3 million Golf GTI models have been built and sold since the model debuted in the mid ‘70s, and today’s Golf GTI TCR is poised to continue that sales success. Indeed the UK is an especially important market for the Golf GTI, with around one in three Golfs sold in the UK being a performance model (GTI, GTD and R).

The new car opened for order here in February, with first deliveries beginning in early April. It is expected that around 1,000 examples of the Golf GTI TCR will be available in right-hand drive form in the UK, with all of those anticipated to be snapped up by retail customers during the remainder of 2019.      

SUMMARY

  • The latest chapter in the Volkswagen Golf GTI story: the new Golf GTI TCR is inspired by the race-going car of the same name
  • In the 44th year of Golf GTI production, the GTI TCR pays tribute to the most powerful production car yet to wear the GTI badge – the Golf GTI TCR racer
  • A performance highlight of the seventh-generation Golf GTI: the new GTI TCR combines race-derived detailing with upgraded performance
  • Power and torque upgrades over Golf GTI Performance: 290 PS at 5,400 - 6,400 rpm (245 PS at 5,000 - 6,200rpm) and 380 Nm at 1,800 – 5,300 rpm, with 200 Nm available at 1,000 rpm (370 Nm at 1600 – 4300 rpm)
  • The new GTI performance champion: 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds, with optional derestricted top speed of 162 mph
  • Shares the axle locking differential with Golf GTI Performance for optimised traction and handling around faster bends
  • Motorsport genes: front splitter (front spoiler), rear diffuser and TCR roof edge spoiler
  • Race-inspired equipment: a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel with a red 12 o'clock stripe, a new sports seat design and 18-inch forged wheels
  • Superior braking system: the Golf GTI TCR is equipped with a high-performance braking system as standard, with perforated discs and special brake pads
  • Improved cooling: two extra water radiators in the front – as with the 300 PS, 4MOTION all-wheel drive Golf R
  • Broad equipment list includes 18-inch ‘Belvedere’ alloy wheels, Active Info Display, Composition Media infotainment system with 8-speaker sound system
  • Optional performance package adds 19-inch ‘Reifnitz’ alloy wheels, Dynamic Chassis Control with 20 mm lower body and unrestricted top speed. Package including semi-slick sports tyres on 19-inch ‘Pretoria’ wheels is an additional option
  • Design closely mirrors that of the Golf GTI TCR Concept, first revealed at the Wörthersee GTI meeting in 2018
  • The latest special edition GTI in the seventh-generation Golf’s life cycle, following the Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40 and Golf GTI Clubsport S
  • Golf GTI TCR builds upon the legacy of the iconic Golf GTI, which has sold nearly 2.3 million units across seven generations since the Mk1 GTI in 1976
  • Golf is the biggest-selling model in the Volkswagen range in the UK, accounting for approximately one in three new Volkswagens sold here
  • The UK is an especially important market for the Golf GTI, with around one in three Golfs sold in the UK being a performance model (GTI, GTD and R)
  • Orders open February 2019, first deliveries of UK cars in March

Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR (race version) information

  • Acceleration to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph – limited by the specific transmission ratio
  • Power output of 350 PS and maximum torque of 420 Nm, produced by the same 2.0-litre TSI engine used in the Golf GTI Performance and Golf GTI TCR
  • Body is 15 cm wider than the road-going Golf, rear wing is adjustable and made from aluminium
  • Inside, a racing bucket seat features head protectors, while a racing safety cell and safety tank help to meet FIA regulations
  • More than 100 produced by hand and delivered to customer race teams since 2016, priced at €95,000 plus local taxes
  • Model was updated for the 2018 racing season in line with its road-going Golf GTI counterpart

MARKET INFORMATION

Golf is the biggest-selling model in the Volkswagen range in the UK, accounting for approximately one in three new Volkswagens sold here each year. In 2018 a total of 66,790 new Golfs were sold in the UK.

Around 2.3 million Golf GTI models have been built and sold worldwide since the car’s debut in the mid ‘70s, out of a total of more than 35 million Golfs manufactured to date.

Today’s Golf GTI TCR is poised to continue that sales success. Indeed the UK is an especially important market for the Golf GTI, with around one in three Golfs sold in the UK being a performance model (GTI, GTD, GTE and R).

The new car opens for order here in February 2019, with first deliveries beginning the following month.    

Production

Situated on the banks of Mittellandkanal, an inland artificial waterway, Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant is the world’s largest single car-manufacturing complex and covers an area of more than 3.7 square miles – that’s an area large enough to accommodate the entire Principality of Monaco.

The network of roads connecting the individual production facilities, warehouses, administration buildings and outdoor facilities covers a distance of 46 miles, with 43 miles of railway tracks accommodating seven locomotives, two shunting robots and a traverse.

The Golf family is built here, along with the Tiguan SUV and Touran MPV. In addition to these whole models, the site also makes components – an important mainstay on the plant portfolio – such as cardan drive shafts and injection-moulded parts, which are either used in production at the plant itself or supplied to other Group production sites.

Around 820,000 vehicles were built at Wolfsburg in 2018 and some 60,500 people were employed there. A total of more than 45 million Volkswagen cars have been made on the factory lines at Wolfsburg since series production started there in December 1945.

EXTERIOR DESIGN

The Golf GTI TCR’s distinctive look is proof positive of its racing DNA. The strongest GTI in the current model range has a sharply cut, high-gloss black splitter on the front as an additional front spoiler, like those used in motorsport.

Also new are the high-gloss black sill caps in the side panel, their lines are optically extended into the rear section. Here they meet a strikingly designed diffuser – similar to the side sills and the front splitter in so far as they are finished in the same gloss black – and the left and right exterior integrated single tailpipes of the exhaust system. At the rear, however, the dynamic line of the roof section transitions into the gloss black spoiler.

A new colour – Pure Grey – is on offer for the Golf GTI TCR to help mark it out as the most special of Golf GTIs currently available to buy new.  

The other colours on offer are longstanding Volkswagen classics. Pure White, Tornado Red, Deep Black Pearl Effect and Oryx White Pearl Effect can be specified. Those buyers opting for Pure Grey, Pure White or Tornado Red may, optionally, order the roof in a contrasting black colour.

Also presented in black are the matt-painted exterior mirror caps (optionally available with a carbon fibre look) and the ‘TCR’ lettering above the sills. Additionally, on request, the vehicle flanks on the left and right of the B-pillar can be adorned with a honeycomb-pattern decor foil.

Underscoring its appeal even at night, the Golf GTI TCR boasts puddle lights which project the TCR logo onto the road surface when the front doors are opened. Meanwhile, the stainless steel sill panel trim also features a red illuminated element.

Other notable, and classic GTI, exterior features include the iconic red stripes in the radiator grille and the standard LED headlights. Meanwhile, at the rear, the red LED lights sit behind darkened lenses.

INTERIOR DESIGN

When it comes to functionality and ergonomics, the Golf excels. For a more controlled driving experience, the centre console is angled slightly towards the driver. This ensures both the touch-screen of the infotainment system and the controls for the air conditioning and heating are easy to reach, with every switch and display intuitively to hand.

While it of course shares the design elegance and practicality of every current Golf, drivers and passengers in the new GTI TCR sit in specially-crafted microfibre and fabric sports seats.

The flanks of the seat and backrest, as well as the sides and back of the seats, are finished in Anthracite-coloured microfibre while the striped fabric centre seat panels feature the contrasting colour Flash Red on a black background.

The stitching on the seats, the centre armrest (front) and head restraints, as well as seat belt edges and contrasting seams on the door coverings, the DSG gearshift and the three-spoke sports steering wheel also feature contrasting red highlights.

Supporting the ‘track car’ look of the TCR racing series, the leather covered steering wheel is specially imprinted with perforated leather at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions. It also gains a red centring stripe 12 o'clock mark.

As with the seats, the door inserts and the gearknob are trimmed in microfibre. Meanwhile, the Flash Red colour of the seats and seams is incorporated by the standard ambient lighting in the door sills. Continuing the red theme are the coloured graphics of the standard-fit Discover Media infotainment system.

ENGINE, TRANSMISSION & RUNNING GEAR

This road-going version of the Golf GTI TCR track car – twice overall winner of the international TCR race series – is among the most potent cars yet to sport the GTI nomenclature synonymous with Volkswagen.

The racing car’s genes naturally feed through into the GTI TCR’s powerful engine: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder, 16-valve, turbocharged unit from the EA888 family seen elsewhere in various guises, including in the revered 300 PS all-wheel drive Golf R.

Here, the 2.0-litre TSI generates 290 PS at between 5,400 rpm and 6,400 rpm, thus making it a full 45 PS more potent than the current ‘entry level’ GTI, the 245 PS Golf GTI Performance.

The torque figures naturally match these impressive power peaks. Even at 1,000 rpm – a touch above idle speed – 200 Nm of torque is available while the maximum torque of 380 Nm is available in a broad flat ‘plateau’ between 1,800 and 5,300 rpm.

This impressive power and torque is transmitted to the GTI TCR’s driven front wheels via Volkswagen’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) and a locking differential.

To provide appropriate cooling to handle the increased engine power in any situation, the Golf GTI TCR has been equipped with two extra water radiators in front, the same as the all-wheel drive Golf R.

Upgraded perforated brake discs and brake pads slow this racing offshoot just as confidently as the 2.0 TSI accelerates it.

Volkswagen’s familiar Driving Profile Selection system with ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and INDIVIDUAL modes is fitted as standard here. The latter enables the specific tuning of the steering, engine performance curve and gearbox as well as the (optional) Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC).

The GTI TCR’s factory-set maximum speed is 154 mph, but this can be increased to a ‘derestricted’ 162 mph by opting to remove the electronic limiter. The Golf covers the 0-62 mph sprint in just 5.6 seconds. The efficiency of the four-cylinder 16-valve engine combined with a petrol particulate filter is assured. Combined consumption (WLTP) is 36.2 mpg and emissions are quoted as 177 g/km

As with its siblings in the Golf range, the GTI TCR sits on the now familiar MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) – Modular Transverse Matrix platform, which means it benefits from the latest available technology and shares elements of its underpinnings with other successful new models such as the Polo, T-Roc, new T-Cross, Arteon fastback forthcoming new Passat, popular Touran MPV, latest Tiguan SUV and Tiguan Allspace seven-seat SUV.

GTI HISTORY

Today, Volkswagen has no less than three GTI models in its portfolio: the new up! GTI; the new Polo GTI; and the iconic GTI Performance. But this is not the first time such a strong GTI line-up has existed. A GTI triumvirate like this has featured twice before: most recently between 2000 and 2005. Then it was the Lupo GTI that added to the family, below the Polo and Golf. And in 1977, 41 years ago, in parallel with the Golf GTI there was the Scirocco GTI and, lesser known, the Passat GTI. The latter, however, appeared  in concept car form only. When it went into production in 1979, it was called GLI rather than GTI.

The milestones of the GTI models produced to date in summary:

1976

Golf GTI: 110 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk1)

Scirocco GTI: 110 PS at launch (based on Scirocco Mk1)

1977

Passat GTI: 110 PS concept car (based on Passat Mk1)

1981

Scirocco GTI: 110 PS at launch (based on Scirocco Mk2)

1983

Golf ‘Pirelli’ GTI: 112 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk1)

1984

Golf GTI: 112 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk2)

1986

Golf GTI 16V: 139 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk2)

1990

Golf GTI G60: 160 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk2)

1991

Golf GTI: 115 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk3)

1992

Golf GTI 16V: 150 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk3)

1996

Golf GTI ‘20 Years of the GTI’ anniversary model: 150 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk3)

1998

Polo GTI: 120 PS at launch (based on Polo Mk3)

Golf GTI: 150 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk4)

2000

Lupo GTI: 125 PS at launch

2001

Golf GTI ‘25 Years of the GTI’ anniversary model: 180 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk4)

2004

Golf GTI: 200 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk5)

2006

Polo GTI: 150 PS at launch (based on Polo Mk4)

Polo GTI Cup Edition: 180 PS at launch (based on Polo Mk4)

Golf GTI ‘30 Years of the GTI’ anniversary model: 230 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk5)

2009

Golf GTI: 210 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk6)

2010

Polo GTI: 180 PS at launch (based on Polo Mk5)

2013

Golf GTI: 220 PS and 230 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk7)

2015

Golf GTI Clubsport: 290 PS at launch (based on Golf Mk7)

2016

Golf GTI Clubsport S with 310 PS unveiled. 150 production-run sells out immediately

2017

Polo GTI: 200 PS at launch (based on Polo Mk6)

2018

up! GTI: 115 PS at launch

TECHNICAL DATA

Golf GTI TCR 2.0-litre TSI 290 PS

Engine type

Transverse-installed 2.0-litre four-cylinder in-line direct injection turbocharged engine. Fitted with four valves per cylinder and a turbocharger

Cubic capacity, ltrs/cc

1,984

Max output, PS/KW at RPM

290, 5,000-6,200 rpm

Max torque, lbs.ft/Nm at RPM

280/380, 1,950-5,300 rpm

Gearbox

7-speed DSG automatic

Gear ratios (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, R)

3.19 ; 2.75 ; 1.90 ; 1.04 ; 0.79 ; 0.86 ; 0.66 ; 2.90

Weights, kgs

Unladen weight

1410

Gross vehicle weight

1880

Payload

545

Max. roof load, with roof rails

75

Performance

Top speed, mph (km/h) where law permits

155

Acceleration, 0-62 mph (sec)

5.6

ABI insurance group, 1-50

34 E

Environmental Information

Fuel grade, minimum

Unleaded, 95 RON

Fuel tank capacity, galls/ltrs

50

Official fuel consumption, WLTP combined

36.7

Official CO2 emissions, g/km, WLTP

177

Emission class

Euro 6d TEMP

Exterior dimensions, mm

Length

4,268

Width, inc. mirrors

2,027

Width, exc. mirrors

1,790

Height

1,482

Wheelbase

2,626

Turning circle, m

10.9

Luggage capacity, litres – with rear seats upright

380

Luggage capacity, litres – with rear seats folded

1,270

 

Notes:

The progressive steering system uses the same hardware as GTI Performance, but its setup is more conducive to driving dynamics.

As a result of a lower suspension (compared with the GTI Performance), front-axle camber has increased by 3 deg. Camber is negative on both axles.

SERVICING

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf GTI TCR. They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking. In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys. The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.

In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service. A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 20,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes. An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s lifetime it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

WARRANTIES

The Golf GTI TCR, like all current Volkswagen Passenger Car models in the UK, has a three-year (first- and second-year manufacturer operated, third-year retailer-operated) / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty. In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover. The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

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