Volkswagen is hitting the track. It’s developing its first racing car based off its Golf. The special concept vehicle is in line with TCR regulations and will be undergoing competitive conditions testing in the remainder of the TCR racing season. It is VW’s test vehicle to see what interest there is in a customer racing program. The first race for the Golf TCR is this weekend.
“The newly created TCR category provides a promising platform for customer racing – on a national and international level. With exciting races, production-based technology and reasonable costs, it offers a new outlook for private racing teams. When developing the Golf-based concept car, we are able to fall back on the resources at Volkswagen. This reduces both development time and costs. We will also use the rest of the season to test the car under competitive conditions and evaluate a possible customer racing project from 2016,” says Jost Capito, Director, Volkswagen Motorsport.
Under the bonnet is a two-liter turbo, direct fuel injection, four-cylinder engine with 330 horsepower based off the top of the line sporty production Golf R. It features front-wheel drive and a six-speed DSG gearbox with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Volkswagen Motorsport is also working with the sport department at SEAT, the maker of the Leon Cup Racer, for feedback and tips on crafting the optimum Golf TCR.
Visually the racing Golf stands out from regular production Golfs with special 18-inch racing rims, a chassis over 15-inches wider, and a racing rear wing that contributes to both looks and handling.
VW is testing the Golf under what it calls “competitive conditions” in order to accelerate development. The racing Golf is set to participate in the remaining four race weekends in the international TCR series that include races in Austria, Singapore, Thailand, and Macau. The Liqui Moly Team Engstler is taking responsibility in putting it through the paces.
“We are obviously very pleased to welcome the Golf TCR. I’m sure that the cooperation between Volkswagen Motorsport and the Liqui Moly Team Engstler will result in a successful technical development of the car,” says Marcello Lotti, TCR promoter.
The TCR is still in concept and testing mode. However, for those of you interested in a racing Golf for sporting around in, but not necessarily for competing in races in, there is the top of the production line Golf R. It starts at $36,595 and packs a turbocharged 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine that gets 292 horses with 280 lb-ft of torque. It also gets an estimated 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway and is available in dealerships now.