Volkswagen's hot hatchbacks hit the track.
After the new Volkswagen Golf GTI debuted earlier this year, the eighth-generation Golf family will continue to expand with the new track-focused Golf GTI TCR and the hardcore Golf R. Our spies have already snapped photos showing prototypes of both models being tested, but VW's new hot hatchbacks can now be seen in action on video for the first time.
Recorded during an industry pool session at the Nurburgring, the new Golf GTI TCR and Golf R prototypes are virtually undisguised. While the previous Golf GTI TCR was only offered for a limited time during the last-generation model's lifecycle, the new version will be a permanent addition to the eight-generation Golf lineup.
Distinguishing the Golf GTI TCR from its standard sibling is a new front bumper with more aggressive air intakes, a roof spoiler, and larger exhaust tips. It also sits closer to the ground, giving it a sportier stance. There are no signature Golf GTI red accents, but these could still be added to the production model.
Like the Golf GTI, the TCR version will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four engine with an increased output of 296 horsepower according to leaked documents to position it between the standard GTI and the AWD Golf R. A dual-clutch gearbox will likely be the only transmission option. Too bad the Golf GTI TCR is unlikely to be sold in America since the last model was only available in Europe.
Slotting above the Golf GTI TCR will be the hardcore Golf R, which can also be seen being put through its paces at the demanding Green Hell. Like the Golf GTI TCR, the Golf R is virtually undisguised apart from a thin cover applied to the front bumper. This will be the most aggressive-looking version of the new Golf, thanks to its larger air intakes and brakes, and a quad exhaust system.
It will also be the fastest. Under the hood, the Golf R's 2.0-liter turbo will produce 328 horsepower if leaked documents are to be believed, which will be sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Expect the Golf GTI TCR to break cover in a few months, followed by the Golf R later this year.