GTI driver, finds: “The TCR is another great addition to the Golf range. It is the sportiest GTI so far.
Yet it remains a compact car that is suitable for everyday use. The Golf somehow just keeps reinventing itself. That has always been its big strength.” The touring car racing version of the new GTI TCR (short for “Touring Car Racing”), which lends its name to the sporty top model, makes no compromises. Nor should it. The racer, which Volkswagen Motorsport offers its customer teams, was the inspiration behind the development of the road-going model – and was also available for driving at this special event in Portimão.
The chance to drive a real race car – wow! And the 350-PS racer naturally took acceleration, grip and cornering speeds to a new level.
A hot ride in a TCR powerhouse After brief instructions from professional touring car driver Benjamin Leuchter, who explains the most important functions, it is time to get going – under the guidance of a professional instructor from the Volkswagen Driving Experience, of course. And here too, it very quickly becomes apparent that a Golf is a Golf, and drives like a Golf – after all, 65 per cent of the GTI production parts can also be found in the racing version. “Sensational,” is how Berger sums up his drive in the race car. “Sure, it is loud, hot and the engine roars at you. But even here, you notice that it is a Golf. A very balanced car, which warms you up very quickly. Ideal for customer sport.” The racing version has already proven itself emphatically on several occasions.
Customer sport teams have won titles in the TCR International Series in 2016 and 2017 with the GTI TCR, while the touring car from Hannover proved its stamina with a class win at last year’s 24 Hours of Dubai.
Over 2.3 million Golf GTI produced since 1976 Sporty, top-of-the-range Golf GTI enjoy a long tradition at Volkswagen: as early as 1990, the Golf II GTI G60 (118 kW/160 PS) was busy causing quite a stir with its G-Lader supercharger.
Also popular were the turbo models, editions 25/30/35 of the fourth, fifth and sixth generations of Golf, which provided an extra dose of power and sportiness compared to their respective basic model. The current range of models is successfully continuing this tradition with the Performance, Clubsport and limited-edition Clubsport S versions, with the TCR now completing the family. Since it was launched in 1976, over 2.3 million Golf GTI have been built. To be continued …
More on the topic
More on the TCR Story: The TCR for racing Story: The GTI family