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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Powered-up Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR debuts at Festival of Motoring

After much speculation, Volkswagen surprised many when it took the covers off of the Golf GTI TCR at the Kyalami Festival of Motoring on Wednesday (21 August).

Named after the popular and successful TCR Touring Car Championship series taking place in a number of countries such as Great Britain, Germany, Spain, China and more recently, Australia, the TCR not only serves as the swansong version for the current Mk 7.5 Golf GTI, but also the most powerful derivative of Wolfsburg’s iconic hot hatch ever made.

Taking styling cues from its racing sibling, the TCR features redesigned front and rear bumpers, wider door sills, a gloss black diffuser, dual exhaust outlets, a honeycomb lower grille, black 18-inch Belvedere alloy wheels and special TCR decals.

Inside, the standard sport seats are trimmed in Anthracite micro-fibres and fabric with Flash Red inlays, while additional changes includes a leather wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel with red 12 o’clock marking as well as red stitching, micro-fibre trimmed door panels with red stitching, red floor mat piping and red accents on the gear lever.

While it remains to be seen whether local models will be equipped with the Performance Package that removes the speed limiter and swaps the 18-inch alloys for 19-inch wheels, in addition to featuring upgraded brakes, adaptive dampers and the Dynamic Chassis Control system with four modes (Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual), what is expected is the regular GTI’s XDS electronic front differential and the stainless exhaust system made by Akrapovic.

Up front, the tried-and-tested 2.0 TSI engine has been kept, albeit upgraded from 169 kW to 213 kW with torque increasing by 20 Nm to 370 Nm. Like the GTI, the TCR is only outfitted with a DSG gearbox, though with seven-speeds, while the limited top speed of 250 km/h goes up to a claimed 264 km/h with the limiter deleted. The benchmark 0-100 km/h sprint time is dealt with in 5.6 seconds.

Arriving on local shores in the first quarter of next year, the TCR will be limited to 300 units with a projected price tag of around R700 000.

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