The 350-HP Volkswagen GTI TCR Is A Hot-Hatch For The Track

Special Edition

Only issue is it’ll cost more than a Corvette Z06.

Last March we saw the unveiling of the Volkswagen GTI TCR, a special version intended for the dual purpose of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Golf GTI and intended to race in the TCR racing series. While only 20 units were made available, it was easily the most desirable GTI in the pack thanks to race-inspired body design that made it look as if it took no prisoners. Now, a year after the reveal of the previous TCR, Volkswagen has pulled the wraps off another special GTI.

Okay so maybe this isn’t the all new customer TCR variant that we’ve been waiting for, but it’s an incremental improvement over the last. Unfortunately the Volkswagen press release claims that it couldn't make extensive upgrades to the car because TCR (Touring Car Racing) regulations mandate that cars need to be as equal as possible so that wins are dependent on driver skill rather than on vehicle technology. Still, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder has been revised to make 350 horsepower, up from the previous car’s 330 horsepower output, while electric power steering has been added to help tame the additional power that’s feed to the front wheels through a retuned sequential gearbox.

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Volkswagen engineers, now free from the burden of refining diesel engines, have turned their attention towards reworking the components that see the most strain using the lessons they learned from a year of racing the previous TCR. The new components should make a difference, but the main focus of the new model is aerodynamics. As such, the GTI TCR has gotten a new skin in order to add downforce while attempting to do away with as much drag as possible. The previous GTI TCR may have gotten a large rear wing and an elongated stance, but the 2017 version sees the addition of new fenders with a new profile and new vents helping the five-door car glide through the air.

Unfortunately for those hoping to one-up every other GTI owner with an example of your own, Volkswagen is only building 30 units, which will sell for €90,000 ($96,000) a pop. At least that’s ten more units than last year.