Volkswagen Motorsport fans with have some new eye candy for 2018. The company’s dedicated race version of the Golf GTI – AKA the Golf GTI TCR, will be getting a facelift that more closely resembles the production car. Available only for racing, the GTI TCR sports numerous aerodynamic upgrades with a tuned racing suspension and a 350-horsepower version of the standard 2.0-liter four cylinder. Power still goes to the front wheels, but it’s sent through a six-speed sequential gearbox.
“The new look for the Golf GTI TCR resulted from close cooperation with Volkswagen Design,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “This helps us to underline just what a close relationship exists between the production model and the racing version. For example, the engine comes directly from series production and only requires minimal adjustment for competitive racing. This is proof that the Golf GTI provides the perfect foundation for our customer racing cars.”
The car is exclusive to European markets, where it’s made quite a name for itself on the touring car circuit. French driver Jean-Karl Vernay recently captured the driver’s title for the TCR International Series behind the wheel of a GTI TCR, finishing third in the final event of the 2017 season a couple weeks ago in Dubai. The car also claimed a TCR victory in the VLN Endurance Championship, conquering the Nürburgring Nordschleife while also finishing in front of numerous cars boasting more power. It’s also played a role in the success of TCR teams in Asia.
The refreshed Golf GTI TCR won’t feature any mechanical upgrades, but based on its literal track record of success, it doesn’t seem to need anything. In any case, the redesigned car will make its debut at the Essen Motor Show, happening now through December 10.