The Volkswagen GTI turns 40 this year, and to celebrate, it's off to the races. What you see here is the official Volkswagen Motorsport GTI TCR, a customer racecar that'll run in the international touring car series this year. Only 20 will be made, and they're all spoken for. We can't wait to see these storming tracks around the world.

Let's start with those huge wheel arches. They house 18-inch racing wheels and widen the standard GTI's body by almost 16 inches. Most of the interior is stripped out, and VW Motorsport adds a racing seat with head protectors, cage, and safety tank. All in, the GTI TCR weighs in at 2,822 pounds, including the driver. That's a nice reduction from the roadgoing GTI's unloaded curb weight of 3,031 pounds.

Power comes from Volkswagen's tried-and-true 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four – specifically, the version used in the Golf R. Even so, the motorsport team turned up the wick for this GTI; the 2.0T produces 330 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque. That runs to the front wheels via a six-speed sequential racing transmission with paddles mounted on the steering wheel. It all works together for a 0-62 run of 5.2 seconds and an estimated top speed of 143 miles per hour.

The 20 cars will all be handed over to their various racing teams on March 11, and will race in the TCR International Series throughout the year. Check the press blast below for the official dates.


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Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR –
330-hp Golf for customer racing receives GTI seal of quality


40 years of GTI: TCR version for the racetrack, Golf GTI Clubsport for the road Production-based touring car to be delivered to teams mid-March

- All 20 Golf GTI TCRs developed by Volkswagen Motorsport already taken

Wolfsburg (04 March 2016). The new Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR has the seal of quality in its name: 40 years after the launch of the first Golf GTI, the customer racing version also possesses the acronym that, since 1976, has been synonymous with the Wolfsburg-based car maker's sporting character, powerful engines and maximum performance. Since it was first unveiled in July 2015, the Golf has been hugely popular on the racetracks of this world: all the customer racing models for the 2016 season had already been snapped up by mid- January. The teams can field the 20 cars, which were developed by Volkswagen Motorsport, in up to 16 national and international TCR touring car championships. The cars for the international TCR championship in Abrera/Barcelona (E) are to be handed over to the customer racing teams from 11th March. An initial roll-out with the opposition is planned for the test drives at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia (E) from 14th March.

Dynamic appearance: Production-based Golf GTI TCR embodies racing genes

The acronym GTI stands for Gran Turismo Injection and is more than just a seal of quality – it is a trademark and an identity. Even to look at, the Golf makes no secret of its motor racing genes: 18-inch racing rims, a chassis that is roughly 40 centimetres wider than the production Golf, and a striking rear wing also guarantee optimal handling. An aerodynamic front splitter and carbon rear wing are among the modifications for the racetrack. Among the features that ensure maximum safety for the driver are a racing seat with head protectors, racing safety cage, and an FIA-approved safety tank.

Powerful and efficient: turbo engine with direct fuel inject, generating 330 hp

A powerful straight four-cylinder engine, a sequential gearbox with shift paddles located on the steering wheel, a consistently developed racing chassis – the new Golf has been meticulously prepared for its outings on the racetracks of this world. Volkswagen Motorsport developed the car in cooperation with the sport department at SEAT. This made it possible to call on the extensive experience gained with the SEAT Leon Cup Racer. As with the Volkswagen Group's production cars, the MQB platform also offers many synergies when it comes to racing cars, thus reducing the costs involved in assembling and running the touring car. The 2-litre turbo engine with direct fuel injection is the same one used in the top sporting model, the Golf R. The racing version generates 243 kW (330 hp) and produces 410 Nm of torque.

Successful start: Concept car shows great potential at TCR outings

The racing car based on the seventh generation of Golf has already enjoyed success in competition: in 2015, cooperation partner Liqui Moly Team Engstler fielded two cars in the TCR International Series. The production-based concept car showed great potential: at its first race weekend, the Golf promptly won the second race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport: The most powerful production GTI ever celebrates its anniversary

The racetrack is not the only place the Golf GTI is celebrating its 40th birthday. To mark the anniversary, Volkswagen is launching the most powerful production GTI ever: the Golf GTI Clubsport. Volkswagen presented sketches of the new car at the GTI meeting at the Wörthersee in May 2015, before unveiling a production model at the International Motor Show (IAA) in September. The 2-litre TFSI engine generates 265 hp – that is 35 hp more than the previous most powerful Golf GTI. Another feature of the turbocharged direct-injection engine is a boost function, which allows the driver to briefly increase the engine power by ten per cent to 290 hp.

TCR International Series – Calendar
01/04–03/04/2016 Bahrain*
22/04–24/04/2016 Portugal (Estoril)
06/05–08/05/2016 Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
20/05–22/05/2016 Italy (Monza)
03/06–05/06/2016 Austria (Salzburg)
17/06–19/06/2016 Germany (Oschersleben)
01/07–03/07/2016 Russia (Sochi)
26/08–28/08/2016 Thailand (Buriram)
16/09–18/09/2016 Singapore*
30/09–02/10/2016 Malaysia (Sepang)*
18/11–20/11/2016 Macau


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