Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR an MK7 swansong

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is a local performance icon, a car loved by many a South Africans, as is evident by the fact that 40 000 seventh-generation Golf models have been sold in South Africa, some 13 00 of which are GTI models.

That means that 33% of local Golf MK7 sales were GTI models, making South Africa one of the largest Golf GTI markets on earth. I attended the virtual press launch of the swansong for the seventh-generation Golf, the GTI TCR, which was first unveiled to South Africans during the 2019 Festival of Motoring.

A history of special editions

South Africans are not unfamiliar with special edition Golf GTIs. In more recent times, the MK6 GTI Edition 35 has become something of a cult car locally while the pre-facelift MK7 GTI received Clubsport and Clubsport S treatment back in 2016. Now, the MK7.5 has a TCR edition, which has aesthetics that pay homage to the TCR racing cars.

Tell me more

Visually, the TCR is easily distinguishable by its 19-inch Reifnitz wheels, perforated brake discs, side sill extensions, matt black side mirror covers as well as a special roof spoiler and rear diffuser. The TCR comes well specified, with LED headlights. The car is only available in three exterior colours; Pure White, Tornado Red and Pure Grey. Volkswagen has confirmed that South African specifications are not available with an Akrapovic exhaust system.

In terms of the interior, Volkswagen has gone to town with the use of Alcantara, which now covers the door inserts and seats while special floor mats with black and red stitching have been added to the package. The brand’s sport steering wheel, as well as ambient light strips, are included in the TCR too. In addition to a unique number placed beneath the GTI badge at the rear of the car, those that secure a TCR will also receive a special cap, keyring and certificate when buying the car.


The TCR comes with the tried and tested EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged engine which in this guise produces 213 kW and 380 N.m mated to a seven-speed DSG gearbox which sends the power to the front wheels. The 0-100 km/h time is claimed at 5.6 seconds while the top speed is quoted at 265 km/h. The car also comes with an electronic locking differential and Dynamic Chassis Control

When will it arrive?

The TCR has been around since early 2019, however, Volkswagen SA claims that we are getting the car later as a result of several factors which include the COVID-19 pandemic, demand at the Wolfsburg plant along with the newer WLTP regulations which meant that many vehicles had to be re-engineered to comply with ever more stringent emissions regulations.

The car will be introduced to South Africa by mid-July 2020 with 297 units allocated to dealers and three to the media fleet. Due to the COVID-19 regulations, there is no confirmation that all 300 will be made available although order books are open for those looking to secure allocations. Customers can order their TCR from their local dealership online.

Service plan and warranty

The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR comes standard with a three-year/120 000km warranty and a five-year/ 90 000km service plan.


Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR R669 000

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