Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - price and specs

The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR to sign off the current Golf GTI before the all-new Mk8

Topping the realigned Golf GTI range, VW has removed the entry-level 227bhp GTI model, now topping it with this GTI TCR, which is based on the thinly veiled concept from Wörthersee last year. 

Killed off thanks to those pesky WLTP emissions regulations, the entry GTI now comes as standard with the previous GTI Performance Pack’s 242bhp engine, while the new 286bhp TCR will slip (just) underneath the flagship Golf R, which itself lost 10bhp due to the new regulations.

> Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR review - an appropriate Mk7 send-off?

The new TCR will reach 62mph in 5.6sec, 0.4sec faster than the standard GTI when fitted with the equivalent dual-clutch transmission, and top out at 155mph, with an option to raise this to 161mph

In its latest model-year update, Volkswagen added some attractive new kit as standard. An Akrapovic sports exhaust system now comes as standard, something that was previously an option, adding more sound and sportier exhaust tips to the mix. New wheel designs are also now available, should the standard TCR items not quite cut it.

In addition to the mechanical upgrades, the TCR also rides some 20mm lower than the standard GTI, integrating adaptive dampers as standard on 18-inch, or new 19-inch alloy wheels. The latter are bespoke to the TCR and only available in a gloss black finish. The bodywork has also been subtly revised, with an extended front splitter, side sills and rear diffuser.

Hidden underneath the new rear bumper is a stainless steel exhaust system, with a further option of a titanium system by Slovenian firm Akrapovič. The brakes have also been upgraded, while the GTI Performance’s limited-slip differential also ensures front traction will be adequately handled.

Inside the cabin Volkswagen has applied a range of bespoke finishes to the seats and steering wheel, the latter with a red 12 O’clock stripe to remind you that you’re in something a little more special than a ‘normal’ GTI.

We’re excited with the prospect of a new flagship Golf GTI model, but can’t help but feel the lack of a manual gearbox might set the tone of the TCR being less involving than the previous Clubsport. Another issue is whether a spiritual successor to the fabulous Clubsport S might be on the cards. With a power output of 316bhp, the Clubsport S still holds the candle as the most powerful production Golf GTI ever, while its unmatched combination of tenacious, grippy, yet thrilling handling, complemented by Volkswagen’s typical polish, made it one of the true stars of the hot hatch genre.

With an all-new Mk8 Golf on the horizon, the gap left to produce a follow-up to one of our favourite ever hot hatchbacks is quickly closing, making it even more imperative that the new GTI TCR doesn’t disappoint as the Mk7 Golf’s final hurrah.

Recommended

Honda Civic Type R review
Honda Civic Type R GT MY21 – front
Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type R review

The Civic Type R is one of the most alluring performance cars on sale regardless of price
20 Jul 2021
New Audi RS3 revealed – AMG’s A45 S rival returns fitter and faster
2021 Audi RS3 Sportback – front tracking
Audi RS3

New Audi RS3 revealed – AMG’s A45 S rival returns fitter and faster

After months of tech insights, we now finally get to see the all-new Audi RS3 in its finished form
19 Jul 2021
Honda Civic Type R Sport Line 2021 review – to wing or not to wing
Honda Civic Type R Sport Line – rear
Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type R Sport Line 2021 review – to wing or not to wing

Another cracking Honda Civic Type R, and its extra civility doesn’t come at the expense of capability
17 Jul 2021
2021 Volkswagen Polo GTI revealed – Ford Fiesta ST rival gets a makeover
2021 Volkswagen Polo GTI
Volkswagen Polo GTI

2021 Volkswagen Polo GTI revealed – Ford Fiesta ST rival gets a makeover

Volkswagen has given its range-topping Polo GTI supermini a refresh for 2021
30 Jun 2021

Most Popular

Mercedes S-class 2021 review – the ‘best car in the world’ just got better
Mercedes S-class – front tracking
Mercedes

Mercedes S-class 2021 review – the ‘best car in the world’ just got better

It may be slipping out of fashion, but the institution that is Mercedes’ S-class is only getting stronger
22 Jul 2021
Lotus Emira makes world debut – all-new coupe to rival Alpine A110
Lotus Emira
Lotus

Lotus Emira makes world debut – all-new coupe to rival Alpine A110

Lotus's first all-new car for a quarter of a century comes AMG power and sub-£60,000 price tag
13 Jul 2021
New Audi RS3 revealed – AMG’s A45 S rival returns fitter and faster
2021 Audi RS3 Sportback – front tracking
Audi RS3

New Audi RS3 revealed – AMG’s A45 S rival returns fitter and faster

After months of tech insights, we now finally get to see the all-new Audi RS3 in its finished form
19 Jul 2021