By on September 18, 2020

Golf GTI TCR Concept. Image: Volkswagen

I’ve written before that the Volkswagen Golf GTI is almost the perfect car for automotive scribes – available with a manual, affordable, and hatchbacked. Really, it’s the perfect car for almost any enthusiast on a budget who doesn’t want to sacrifice utility at the altar of sport.

Then there’s the Golf R, which is a hopped-up GTI that is better in most respects, save one: Price. It’s no cheapo.

Enter the GTI TCR. This track-focused car fills the gap between the GTI and R and is rumored to make 296 horsepower.

The front-drive TCR would likely have a stiffer suspension, better aerodynamics, and upgraded brakes. It might be automatic-only. It’s definitely been spied while testing.

The biggest question is will it be Europe-only? While VW’s senior vice president for product marketing and strategy, Hein Schafer, told Carbuzz earlier this year that it’s possible, it’s unclear.

Here’s Schafer talking to Carbuzz: “I can tell you wholeheartedly that we are fighting to give every special model from a performance perspective. Every manufacturer faces a very similar challenge when it comes to any different engine variants. We run into an entirely different homologation process. It takes time and costs a lot of money. We are working very closely with Wolfsburg on the Mk8 lifecycle and we have an interest in every single special model they can potentially offer. We will continue to try to push to bring those models to the US.”

So that’s a definite maybe. A U.S.-based VW spokesman said there is “no plan” to sell the TCR here, but plans do change. Remember, the TCR has never been sold here in street-car form before, though race versions have been sold in the U.S.

We may just be getting the GTI and R over here. That’s pretty good, although it’s a bummer the base Golf is gone from our shores, since that car is a value commuter with a side of fun. Still, if the TCR came here, that would give VW a potent performance-based Golf lineup, pitting the GTI against the Honda Civic Si and Subaru WRX and Veloster R-Spec/Veloster N, while the TCR would take on the Civic Type R, since both are front-drive. The all-wheel-drive Golf R could remain pitted against the WRX STi.

Let the hot-compact wars continue.

[Image: Volkswagen. Golf GTI TCR Concept from 2018 shown]

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5 Comments on “Report: 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Spied...”


  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    Since one of these is great for DD’ing, and DD’ing includes miserable dead stop traffic backups, the automatic is no problem at all for me. Besides, the GTI that caused me to love GTIs was a DSG.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      The DSG is a wonderful transmission for a performance car.

      Your screen name notwithstanding, the saying should be “the answer is always GTI.” It’s a marvelously versatile car, you can use it for a track day one weekend and load it up with friends and head for the beach the next.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “I can tell you wholeheartedly that we are fighting to give every special model from a performance perspective. Every manufacturer faces a very similar challenge when it comes to any different engine variants. We run into an entirely different homologation process. It takes time and costs a lot of money. We are working very closely with Wolfsburg on the Mk8 lifecycle and we have an interest in every single special model they can potentially offer. We will continue to try to push to bring those models to the US.”

    This does not mean ‘maybe’ – this means ‘no time soon.’

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I’d argue the GTI is a great car even if you aren’t on a budget. I traded my ’16 BMW M235i for a ’17 GTI Sport and could not be happier. It may be slower, but it’s heaps more fun and of course FAR more practical. I tried the Golf R, and it was also not as fun as the Sport for a LOT more money, and I need AWD living in FL like I need a couple of ex-wives.

    I’m not sure I see the point of the TCR though. If I am going to play on the track, I want RWD, not FWD. And the stuff that makes it better on a track will make it worse as a daily driver.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      You remind me that I saw a guy in San Francisco many years ago wearing a t-shirt that read, in large letters, “Ex-wife for Sale”. The small print beneath it read “take over payments”.

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