The VW Golf GTI TCR, the successful racing version of the compact sports car from Wolfsburg, has received a facelift for the 2018 season. The front end has been reworked to match the new production model, increasing the emphasis on the visual similarities and close technical relationship shared by both sporty Golf models.
“The new look for the Golf GTI TCR resulted from close cooperation with Volkswagen Design. This helps us to underline just what a close relationship exists between the production model and the racing version,” explains Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “For example, the engine comes directly from series production and only requires minimal adjustment for competitive racing. This is proof that the Golf GTI provides the perfect foundation for our customer racing cars.”
The Golf GTI TCR has been one of the most successful racing touring cars of 2017: in the TCR International Series, French driver Jean-Karl Vernay claimed the drivers’ title in Dubai and the 350 HP racing Golf with the two-litre turbo engine, which Volkswagen provides race-ready for professional teams and drivers, was also declared “Model of the Year”.
The Golf GTI also won the TCR class in the VLN Endurance Championship on the Nürburgring Nordschleife (D) and finished ahead of many more powerful cars in the 24-hour race at the same circuit. Kantadhee Kusiri (T) and the Liqui Moly Team Engstler secured the title in the TCR Asia and Francisco Abreu (P) triumphed in the TCR Iberico. An impressive winning record for the Golf GTI TCR, which prevailed at numerous races around the globe, beating strong competition from Honda, Audi, Seat, Alfa Romeo, Opel and Kia.
The new model of the Golf GTI TCR will be ready for delivery from January onwards. The sportiest Golf will make its public debut at the Essen Motor Show from 02 to 10 December.
The letters GTI are inseparably associated with Volkswagen– the world’s most familiar identifier for sporty compact cars. All GTI-models share the combination of a high level of agility, low weight, stiff yet comfortable running gear, a safe front-wheel drive system and an ergonomically optimal seating position behind a grippy sport steering wheel. Added to these are GTI-specific features like the typical red stripe in the radiator grille and the legendary ‘Clark’ plaid seat covers.