How do you make the Volkswagen GTI even better? Just add the letters "TCR" and crank up the boost. The new touring-car-racing-inspired variant of the hot hatch packs 286 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The turbo four is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, while the Wolfsburgians estimate a zero-to-62-mph time of 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 162 mph.
We first saw a prototype for the street-legal TCR at Wörthersee in Austria last year; the model is inspired by the Golf GTI TCR race car initially revealed back in 2016. Just 20 of the competition models were built, and as you might expect, they were quickly snatched up. The race car got 326 horses and 310 lb-ft from its 2.0-liter four, and offered zero-to-62 acceleration of 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph.
The Golf GTI TCR gets lots of fancy bits and standard goodies include a front-axle differential lock, perforated brake discs, and LED headlights. It all rolls on forged 18-inch "Belvedere" wheels or optional 19-inch ones. Other options include a black or carbon front splitter, TCR roof spoiler, rear diffuser, mirror caps, and sill extensions.
The cabin is equipped with awesome-looking sport seats with red-striped fabric upholstery and a flat-bottom leather-wrapped steering wheel with a red mark at 12 o'clock. Prices start at 38,950 euros, or about $44,422 bucks at today's exchange rates—if it were only available here. Sigh.
At least there's hope for a more powerful version of the upcoming MKVIII-generation GTI, which we expect to see unveiled this year.