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Volkswagen to debut new GTI flagship at Worthersee

Volkswagen GTI TCR is street legal version of TCR series racing Golf GTI

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR sketch

Volkswagen will be introducing a flagship GTI model at the end of the year, and attendees of the annual GTI gathering at Reifnitz am Wörthersee will be the first to see the car in the flesh.

The upcoming GTI TCR is the homologous version of the 2-time champion Golf GTI in the TCR racing series (the cost-effective spin-off from the World Touring Car Championships, it was created for compact hatchbacks). Like its namesake, it has superior power to its mass-production siblings, but naturally isn’t quite up to the raw power and performance of the race-track version. But it’s close.

The GTI TCR 2.0-turbo engine makes 285 hp, which is 65 more than the “ordinary” GTI’s and 84 fewer than the race car’s, plateauing between 5,000 and 6,800 rpm. The GTI TCR engine also produces 273 lb-ft of torque between 1,600 and 4,300 rpm.

Of interest, though, is that power sent to the front wheels by a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission is distributed through a locking differential, ensuring the car always has the traction to do what it needs.

And an electronic Vmax limiter that prevents top speed from surpassing 250 km/h can be removed to increase top speed to 264 km/h, making the GTI TCR the fastest Golf ever, as well as the fastest Volkswagen street-legal model.

There is no word on whether the car will offer the GTO-signature Tartan Clark Cloth seats.

The world’s largest GTI meeting at Reifnitz am Wörthersee gets underway Wednesday May 9. The annual meet draws more than 7,000 cars and 100,000 visitors to the shores of Lake Wörthersee in southern Austria, earning the town the title of the Mecca of the GTI world.

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