THE wildest Volkswagen Golf you can buy has been tweaked for 2017, still featuring outrageously wide bodywork and proper racing pedigree.
VW’s Motorsport division introduced the GTI TCR last year as an affordable means of motorsport for serious punters as well as professional teams, and revisions include a more affordable DSG variant.
The TCR’s blistered wheel-arches contribute to a body that’s 15cm wider than that of the production Golf, and are now squared off and feature prominent wheel-housing vents to improve aerodynamics.
The model developed for the TCR international touring car series again features a front splitter, multi-adjustable chassis, with the prominent rear wing switching from carbon fibre to aluminium.
Carry-over features inside the FIA-approved body constructed from strengthened steel, include a roll-cage and head-protector racing seats.
The TCR looks even more aggressive than VW’s 2013 Design Vision GTI, though it can’t quite match that 370kW twin-turbo V6 concept’s quoted 0-100km/h acceleration of 3.9 seconds.
Instead, the TCR continues with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine producing 243kW but torque lifts by 10Nm to 420Nm. Its 5.2-second 0-100km/h time is a full second quicker than the upcoming, updated 180kW Golf GTI Performance.
The biggest drivetrain change is the introduction of a production-style DSG dual-clutch auto as a cheaper alternative to the six-speed sequential transmission. VW says it has also improved the sequential gearbox and electric power steering.
VW Motorsport is charging 90,000 Euros ($126,000) for the TCR DSG, which it recommends for 24-hour endurance races only, where the motorsport-style gearbox version asks 110,000 Euros ($154,000).
The TCR was developed with the help of VW’s Spanish brand SEAT, using its experience with the Leon Cup Racer.
Volkswagen plans to deliver 30 TCRs in 2017 - 10 more than last year.
VW Australia says nobody locally has ever asked to buy one, but if you’re daydreaming about a different sort of track car and your pockets are deep enough for a toy such as this, nothing is impossible.