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Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Racing Car Revealed with 326 HP

The GTI goes racing.

There's a new competitor in European touring-car racing, as Volkswagen Motorsport has released its new Golf GTI TCR. The 326-hp hatchback is a factory-backed race car intended for Europe's TCR racing series. Only 20 cars were produced, and all have already been snapped up by eager competitors.

Because the cars shared the same MQB chassis used for the production models, Volkswagen says it was able to draw technical insight from Seat's Leon Cup Racer in developing the Golf GTI TCR. The GTI uses the same 2.0-liter, direct-injection, turbocharged inline-four engine as in the production Volkswagen Golf R, albeit with power cranked up to 326 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. VW claims the racer will reach 62 mph in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 143 mph.

Most of the interior of the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Racing has been stripped, helping trim weight to just 2,822 lb despite the addition of extra safety equipment and bracing. Upgrades to the chassis include enlarged brakes with six-piston front/two-piston rear calipers, 10x18-inch racing wheels wearing Michelin tires, fully adjustable front and rear suspension with three-stage anti-roll bars, a limited-slip differential, and a six-speed racing transmission with paddle shifters.

Visually, the GTI TCR's bodywork has been widened by 1.6 inch, and the car wears a new rear wing, a deep front fascia, and a functional splitter.

All 20 of the Golf GTI TCR racing cars will be handed over to teams on March 11. The first race in the series takes place in Bahrain in early April.