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Car and Driver: TCR, Meet GTI: VW’s Golf Race Car Gets Familiar Name, Customer Racing Program

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Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR racer

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Last year, Volkswagen showed off a lean, mean, racing version of its bread-and-butter hatch called the Golf Race Car concept. This customer racing car is now getting a new name and some visual tweaks to better align it with the hot hatch that made Volkswagen famous: the GTI.

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Now called the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, the heavily modified Golf looks mostly the same as the Race Car concept. That means a huge rear wing, large vents and scoops, and a significantly wider stance. But key bits of red trim now adorn the front end, along with prominent, red “GTI” badges in the front grille and on the rear, creating a strong visual link between the roadgoing GTI we know and love and this track-ready version.

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Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR racer

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There are no changes to the mechanicals of the Golf GTI TCR, as it continues to use a 330-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that routes its power to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The aforementioned rear wing and an aggressive front splitter optimize aerodynamics, while the stripped-out interior includes a full racing safety cage and a racing seat with head protectors.

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If you’re looking to snap up one of these hard-core GTI racers for yourself, you’re out of luck. All 20 examples have already been sold to teams for the FIA’s 2016 Touring Car Racing International series—hence the “TCR” in the car’s name—with the first cars set to be delivered to the teams later this week. But you can get a GTI TCR fix at any of the 2016 TCR events; the season starts next month in Bahrain and runs until November.

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Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR racer

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