Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR: VW SA says it has ‘no plans as yet’
The upcoming Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – based on the “almost-ready-for-production” show car revealed at Wörthersee in May – is set to go on sale in various markets in Europe at the end of 2018.
But what about South Africa? Well, Volkswagen SA tells us that it has “no plans as yet” to bring in what Wolfsburg describes as its fastest Golf GTI yet.
Still, we’re holding out hope that the TCR-badged flagship will eventually find its way to our shores, considering the popularity of the GTI badge here. Indeed, South Africa received as many as 47 of the 400 units of the limited-edition Clubsport S built for global markets towards the end of 2016.
That said, the implementation of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) may well throw a spanner in the works for local GTI fans, since gaining approval under this new system requires petrol vehicles to be fitted with a gasoline particulate filter (something that has seemingly already resulted in SA missing out on the new Fiesta ST, with Ford citing fuel quality concerns).
Indeed, the 169 kW version of the GTI (so, the one sold in South Africa) is set to be soon discontinued in markets such as the United Kingdom and Australia, thanks to these changes to emissions testing standards, and replaced by the 180 kW Golf GTI Performance. Whether VW SA will follow suit remains to be seen, with the local arm of the German brand earlier telling us that “no decision has been taken” in this regard.
As a reminder, the new GTI TCR flagship will be positioned as a road-going version of the racing car with which it shares a name, with VW calling it the “future top model in the Golf GTI series”. It employs the brand’s familiar turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder, but tuned to deliver 213 kW (between 5 000 and 6 800 r/min) and 370 N.m (from 1 600 to 4 300 r/min), up on the standard GTI’s 169 kW and 350 N.m.
This increased oomph is directed to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a limited-slip differential. While the factory-set maximum speed is 250 km/h, this can be upped to 264 km/h by opting to remove the electronic top-speed limiter (making it the fastest Golf GTI ever).
The Golf GTI TCR runs on 18-inch “Belvedere” forged alloys, with newly designed 19-inch alloys as an option. These wheels frame chunky perforated brake discs with special callipers and pads “designed to slow the production vehicle just as effortlessly as the race car”.
Volkswagen reveals new Golf GTI Rabbit Edition (for the US)
Volkswagen of America has announced a number of changes to its line-up, including the launch of a limited-edition Golf GTI Rabbit Edition.
Describing the Rabbit Edition as “heritage-inspired”, VW says its limited-edition model boasts 18-inch gloss-black alloy wheels, a black rear spoiler, LED headlamps (with an adaptive front-lighting system), black side-mirror caps, Rabbit-badged seats, red-stitched floor mats and keyless access (with push-button start).
Standard safety kit includes front assist, blind spot monitoring and rear traffic alert. The GTI Rabbit Edition will be offered in four colours: Cornflower Blue, Urano Grey, Pure White and Deep Black Pearl.
Interestingly, all Golf GTI models offered in North America now make 169 kW (the same output offered in South Africa) as standard and furthermore gain Golf R brakes and the VAQ mechanical differential. The Rabbit nameplate, of course, was used for the first- and fifth-generation Golf in the United States and Canada.
South Africa, meanwhile, is awaiting news on the possibility of the 213 kW Golf GTI TCR – which is based on the “almost-ready-for-production” show car revealed at Wörthersee in May – making it to local shores.
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR: 213 kW production model unveiled!
Remember the Golf GTI TCR Concept that Volkswagen revealed at the annual GTI Meeting at Wörthersee in May 2018? Well, the final production version of the hot hatch has now been unveiled as a swansong to the seventh-generation hatchback.
The new front-wheel-drive Golf GTI TCR employs the Wolfsburg-based brand’s familiar turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder, but in this case tuned to deliver 213 kW and 370 N.m, up on the standard GTI’s 169 kW and 350 N.m.
Fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, VW says the special model is capable of sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in 5,6 seconds – a full eight-tenths quicker than the standard GTI. Maximum speed, meanwhile, is 250 km/h, although the automaker says this can “optionally be increased to 260 km/h”.
In Europe, the Golf GTI TCR features technology such as front assist, the active info display and LED headlamps. The standard equipment list furthermore includes a front-axle differential lock, perforated brake discs, driving profile selection, front sport seats (with a new microfibre/fabric design), seat belts with red edging and an “exclusive” sports steering wheel.
From the outside, you’ll notice the 18-inch “Belvedere” forged wheels (or “Milton Keynes” alloy items in the same size as an alternative), black side-mirror caps, new sill extensions, fresh front splitter, TCR-style roof spoiler and a diffuser at the rear. In addition, the TCR logo is projected onto the road when the front doors are opened.
VW says the Golf GTI TCR can be further customised with options such as a new honeycomb decor foil for the side panels, carbon side-mirror caps, a black-painted roof, as well as various 19-inch alloy wheel designs.
So, is it coming to South Africa? Well, in August 2018, Volkswagen SA told us that it had “no plans as yet” to bring in what Wolfsburg describes as its fastest Golf GTI ever. We’re since posed the question again and are waiting for feedback…
First shown as a concept car at the Wörthersee GTI Meeting last year, the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR has now been shown in production guise, and takes pride of place as one of the most powerful GTI variants ever.
In fact, the TCR, with its outputs of 213kW and 370Nm, is second only to the limited edition Clubsport S in the potency stakes, and outpowers the standard GTI (169kW/350Nm) by a very healthy margin.
The result, out on the street, is a claimed zero to 100km/h sprint time of 5.6 seconds, versus the normal GTI’s 6.5s. The top speed can be optionally raised from a governed 250km/h to 260km/h.
As with all GTIs, power still goes through the front wheels (rather than the R’s AWD set-up), via a seven-speed DSG dual clutch gearbox.
The TCR rolls on 18-inch Belvedere alloys and can also be told apart by its unique front splitter, roof spoiler and diffuser as well as sill extensions and black mirror caps.
But it is still highly upgradable with various options and packages allowing buyers to specify items like 19-inch alloy wheels, the DCC adaptive chassis control system, carbon mirror caps and a black painted roof among other options.
Inside the TCR gets a unique steering wheel as well as new seat upholstery and seat belts with red edging.
CONsumer - I have a GTI, fastest Golf ever!
VW - Oh look, a GTI R. It's the fastest GTI ever!
CONsumer - I have a GTI R, fastest Golf ever!
VW - Oh look, a Clubsport. It's the fastest GTI ever!
CONsumer - I have a Clubsport, fastest Golf ever!
VW - Oh look, a Clubsport S. It's the fastest GTI ever!
CONsumer - I have a Clubsport S, fastest Golf ever!
VW - Oh look, a TCR. It's the fastest GTI ever!
More potent front-wheel-drive Golf GTI has gone from concept to production; can hit a derestricted 162mph
Volkswagen has officially announced the Golf GTI TCR, a brawny 286bhp version of the seventh-generation Golf GTI built to celebrate the brand's participation in touring car racing.
The TCR is set to become the fastest front-wheel-drive Golf the firm has released to date, with an option to raise the top speed from 155mph to 162mph. The 0-62mph sprint is dispatched in 5.6sec, 0.3sec faster than the hardcore Golf GTI Clubsport S.
It uses the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the earlier Golf GTI Clubsport, with 286bhp at 5000rpm in overboost mode, when turbo boost pressure is raised from 1.9 to 2.1bar for periods of up to 10 seconds. During that time, the engine develops 44bhp more than the standard Golf GTI's with the optional performance package, while torque remains the same, building to a peak of 272lb ft at 1600-4300rpm. It comes with a petrol particulate filter and is combined with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and front axle differential lock. There's no option of a manual gearbox.
The Golf GTI TCR stands out from the standard Golf GTI with a more prominent front splitter, wider side sills, a TCR-specific spoiler and a large full-width diffuser at the rear. Buyers will be able to specify TCR decals over the rear of the sills, a body side foil featuring the honeycomb shape reflected in the design of the grille, and puddle lamps that project a TCR logo to the side of the car when the door is opened. LED headlights come as standard, along with Front Assist automatic emergency braking and an Active Info Display digital instrument cluster.
Inside, the Golf GTI TCR adopts new microfibre upholstery for the sides of the sport seats, door inserts and gear selector glove. The design of the upholstery for the seat centre has been developed specifically for this model, while the flat-bottomed steering wheel and gear selector knob receive a red marker at the 12 o’clock position as a homage to the racing version of the Golf GTI TCR, of which VW Motorsport claims to have delivered up to 100 examples since 2016.
UK prices have yet to be revealed, but in Volkswagen's home territory the TCR will cost €38,950 (£34,500). Buyers will be able to choose from a selection of extras packages, which add sports-tuned rear dampers and Dynamic Chassis Control, the top speed upgrade and 19in alloy wheels on either street or semi-slick tyres.
The Golf GTI TCR was previewed at last year's Wörthersee fan meet in Austria by the TCR Concept, which used the same titanium Akrapovič exhaust system as the four-wheel-drive Golf R. It is currently unknown if the production version does the same.
The TCR was confirmed for production by VW officials at Wörthersee, who suggested volumes will not be restricted, unlike the limited-run Clubsport S.
However, with development of the eighth-generation Golf - planned for introduction in 2019 - already at an advanced stage, the road-going Golf GTI TCR is set for a relatively short production life.
VW drops more details, fresh photos of 213 kW Golf GTI TCR
Volkswagen recently revealed the new Golf GTI TCR, billing it as a “new evolutionary stage” of the GTI nameplate’s storied history. And now the German firm has dropped a few more details as well as fresh photographs of the hot hatch that will effectively serve as the swansong to the seventh-generation Golf.
A newly published “technical data” sheet shows the three-door Golf GTI TCR’s turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder will produce its 213 kW from 5 400 to 6 400 r/min, while its 380 N.m will be on offer between 1 800 and 5 300 r/min. Power is directed to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG as standard.
While the top speed is listed as 250 km/h, the limiter can be optionally removed, raising the figure to 260 km/h. As we pointed out in the original story, the hot Golf (which employs a locking differential on the front axle) can hit 100 km/h from standstill in a claimed 5,6 seconds (a full eight-tenths quicker than the standard GTI), with the Wolfsburg-based automaker now also confirming a zero to 80 km/h time of 4,1 seconds.
The kerb weight comes in at some 1 410 kg, while fuel consumption on the new WLTP method (the Golf GTI TCR’s engine is fitted with a petrol particulate filter) is a claimed 6,7 L/100 km.
Furthermore, the Golf GTI TCR has been equipped with two extra radiators up front, the same as the all-wheel-drive Golf R. VW says the standard stainless-steel exhaust system has been “tuned for the increased performance”, with the tailpipes arranged on either side of the rear diffuser.
The special model also gains a high-gloss black finish for its new splitter, side-sills and side-mirror caps as well as a black roof spoiler. Volkswagen will offer the Golf GTI TCR in a new “Pure Grey” hue, alongside other familiar GTI colours such as “Pure White”, “Tornado Red”, “Deep Black Pearl Effect” and “Oryx White Pearl Effect”. With certain colours, there is the option to order the roof in a contrasting black finish.
Perforated brake discs, driving profile selection, front sport seats (with a new microfibre/fabric design), seat belts with red edging and an “exclusive” sports steering wheel are also part of the standard equipment list.
So, is the most powerful GTI of the current model range coming to South Africa? Well, VW SA earlier told CARmag.co.za “there are currently no confirmed plans to introduce the GTI TCR in the local market”, although considering just how popular the standard GTI is here (and the fact SA received 47 of the global production run of 400 units of the Clubsport S), we wouldn’t be surprised if it turned up at some point in 2019…