Volkswagen unveiled a roadgoing version of the TCR race car, but it’s not coming to the U.S.
There’s just something about hot hatchbacks, you know. Style, power, practicality – these cars are hard to beat in terms of their all-around charm. That all arguably started with the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and the company’s stuck around in the hot hatch arena for more than forty years. Now, the most powerful GTI has emerged out of Wolfsburg: the special edition GTI TCR Concept.
Volkswagen still uses a 2.0-liter engine here, but now it has more horsepower: up to 286 from the standard 220 horsepower (at least in the U.S. variant). Not only that, but it makes 273 lb-ft of torque. It’s still front-wheel drive, and there’s still a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. Volkswagen also fits a limited slip differential to the GTI, which is nice to handle that sort of power in a front-wheel drive platform.
The GTI TCR Concept’s top speed is still pegged at 155 mph, as is the way with German cars in Europe. However, buyers can have the limiter disabled, in which case the car will hit 164 mph. Apart from the power bump, The GTI TCR Concept sports new wheels, perforated brake discs and new calipers and brake pads as well. The concept also has a performance package that includes a sports chassis setup and adaptive damping. Externally, the car has a new front bumper, splitter, side skirts and a honeycomb decal on the sides.
Here’s the rub, though: We aren’t getting this car in the U.S. Unfortunately, the most powerful Golf is not destined for our shores…so we’re stuck with the 220 horsepower version instead. Nevertheless, the GTI TCR Concept is a distinctive take on the popular hot hatch, and we can look on with envy as Europe gets this 286 horsepower variant near the end of this year.