Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR joins touring car series

VW announced a range of GTI-based racers set to compete in national and international TCR touring car series

‘R’ might stand for Racing in Volkswagen parlance, but it’s VW’s Golf GTI that has the longer competition heritage and it’s the GTI that forms the basis of a new race car developed by Volkswagen Motorsport.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR is eligible for sixteen TCR touring car championships worldwide, which feature production-based racers built to strict regulations.

A cost-effective alternative to existing touring car series, competing vehicles must be based on a four- or five-door shell, have a minimum weight of 1250kg if the production gearbox is retained (1280kg with a racing ‘box), develop around 325bhp and have regulated aerodynamics.

The GTI TCR is based on the five-door Golf GTI shell, and while the profile is instantly recognisable as a Golf the front and rear views are dominated by bodywork 40cm wider than standard, and an enormous rear wing sprouting from the tailgate. There’s a deep front splitter too, and safety modifications such as a roll cage, full racing seat and FIA-approved fual tank are mandatory.

Wheels are 18-inches in diameter, and suspension layout largely follows that of the road car: McPherson struts at the front and multi-link at the rear, albeit with a greater range of adjustment than the standard GTI. The car’s electric power steering features both modified software and hardware.

Volkswagen Motorsport has drawn experience from its partner SEAT, and the SEAT Leon Cup Racer, which won the international TCR series’ inaugural season in 2015.

Both cars use a tuned version of the EA888 engine used across the Volkswagen Group, developing 325bhp and 302lb ft of torque – 31bhp and 22lb ft more than the same engine in a Golf R. As VW has chosen a six-speed sequential for its TCR, its weight-with-driver ascribes to the higher limit.

Unlike the Golf R, the race car is two-wheel drive, as mandated by the regulations, which draws closer parallel to the highest-performance GTI on sale: The GTI Clubsport.

With 261bhp, and a 286bhp output over brief periods, it’s the hottest GTI short of the racer – and a car that, when we drove it in November, impressed us with a more adjustable chassis and pointier responses than the standard car.

Recommended

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 2021 review – stickers and stripes, but little else
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 – front blur
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport hatchback

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 2021 review – stickers and stripes, but little else

Hot Golf 8s are getting there, but the GTI Clubsport 45 suffers the same niggles and lapses of judgement as its siblings
25 Jun 2021

Most Popular

Audi RS4 and RS5 Competition revealed – key chassis upgrades for Audi Sport’s BMW M3 rival
Audi RS4 Avant – front quarter
Audi RS4

Audi RS4 and RS5 Competition revealed – key chassis upgrades for Audi Sport’s BMW M3 rival

RS4 Avant and RS5 Coupe and Sportback soon to be available with limited-build Competition packs
17 May 2022
Viritech Apricale – deep dive on the first hydrogen-powered hypercar
Viritech Apricale
car technology

Viritech Apricale – deep dive on the first hydrogen-powered hypercar

This is not another heavyweight battery-electric hypercar, rather it’s a showcase for a new hydrogen fuel-cell technology that can deliver 1200bhp in …
18 May 2022
McLaren 600LT v Porsche 911 GT3 v Nissan GT-R Nismo
McLaren 600LT v Porsche 911 GT3 v Nissan GT-R Nismo
Supercars

McLaren 600LT v Porsche 911 GT3 v Nissan GT-R Nismo

What will it take to expose any weaknesses in the new 911 GT3? Nissan’s brutal GT-R Nismo and McLaren’s ballistic 600LT should have the power and poli…
14 May 2022