Report: 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Spied

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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