Hardcore Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Hits The Track

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Check out the new hardcore Golf GTI almost completely undisguised.

It's been a few months since the all-new Volkswagen Golf GTI debuted. But while we're still waiting for the new hardcore Golf R to arrive, Volkswagen is cooking up a hotter TCR version of the Golf GTI that will slot in between the regular Golf GTI and the Golf R.

We got our first look at the new track-focused Golf GTI TCR earlier this year when a camouflaged prototype was caught being tested in the snow, but now our spies have caught a red prototype getting a workout on the track with barely any camouflage. While it may look like the regular Golf GTI, there are some key design changes that distinguish it.

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Compared to the standard Golf GTI, the sportier TCR version features lowered suspension, a more aggressive front bumper with larger air intakes, and a larger rear spoiler. Development appears to be at an advanced stage since the rear spoiler is noticeably larger than the previous prototype. The production version will also have unique wheels and oval exhaust pipes.

We still don't have any photos of the cabin to share, but the TCR's interior should get some sporty upgrades such as bucket seats, carbon fiber trim, and a new steering wheel. Under the hood, the Golf GTI TCR will also receive a power bump over the standard model.

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Power will be provided by a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four engine producing 296 horsepower according to leaked documents; that's a 55-hp increase over the standard Golf GTI. This will position the TCR below the Golf R, which will top the range with 328 hp according to the same leak. Power will be sent to the front wheels exclusively through a dual-clutch gearbox; a manual option isn't planned.

Volkswagen hasn't confirmed if the new Golf GTI TCR will be sold in the US, but don't be surprised if it becomes forbidden fruit since the last model was never offered stateside. We'll find out when Volkswagen lifts the wraps off the new Golf GTI TCR later this year.

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