Volkswagen Motorsport is testing a concept car developed specifically for the racetrack with the intent of putting into limited production for purchase by private race teams.
The first factory-developed race car based on the seventh generation Golf, it features front-wheel drive, 330 horsepower and a six-speed DSG gearbox, as well as bodywork that leaves no doubt of its intended mission.
The car is built in accordance with regulations for the Touringcar Racer International Series (TCR), an 11-race series with events in nine countries in Europe and south-east Asia in 2015.
The series features production-based race cars with 2.0-litre turbocharged engines and purchase prices in the €70,000-90,000 range, including engine.
“The newly created TCR category provides a promising platform for customer racing – on a national and international level,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. "With exciting races, production-based technology and reasonable costs, it offers a new outlook for private racing teams."
Volkswagen says its concept is intended to help evaluate a potential customer racing program from the 2016 season onwards.
In order to accelerate its development, the new Golf will be tested under competitive conditions at the remaining four race weekends in the TCR series, in conjunction with Liqui Moly Team Engstler.
It will begin by running two cars in the eighth round of the TCR series, at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on July 15.
Visually, the racing Golf concept is identified by an aerodynamically designed front splitter, bodywork that's about 40 cm wider than that of the production Golf, 18-inch racing rims and an imposing carbon rear wing that gives it a “ready-to-race” look.
Components designed to protect the driver include a racing seat with head protectors, a racing safety cell, and a safety fuel tank in accordance with FIA regulations.
The two-litre turbo engine with direct fuel injection comes from VW's mighty Golf R. The racing version of this engine generates the 330 horsepower and 302 lb-ft of torque and the DSG gearbox is shifted via paddles mounted on the steering wheel.