Seventh heaven

VW says goodbye to the seventh-generation Golf GTI with special edition TCR

Reuben Van Niekerk
Road Test
Volkswagen
Volkswagen Golf
GTI
TCR
hot hatch

The seventh edition of Volkswagens’ Golf GTI has been one of the most successful yet; it is a modern-day classic and the everyday hot hatchback. There have been numerous limited editions throughout its lifecycle, but one final special edition aims to end things off in style.

The Golf GTI TCR is the final swansong for the Golf 7 range, which has sold 40 128 units in South Africa since its launch in 2013. Of the total Golf sales, 13 230 of those were the GTI derivative, which makes South Africa one of the top 10 markets for the Golf GTI worldwide. The Golf GTI TCR is derived from the racing car of the same name, the two-time overall winner of the international TCR racing series.

 

What makes it special?

The Golf GTI TCR, which is only available as a five-door version in South Africa features several special touches that set it apart from a regular Golf GTI.

It is fitted with black 19-inch Reifnitz alloy wheels, perforated disc brakes, matte black exterior mirror caps, sill extensions, a front splitter, TCR roof spoiler and a diffuser at the rear. TCR puddle lamps remind the driver and passengers that they are stepping into something special.

Inside, Alcantara door inserts and the gear lever, as well as gorgeous premium Alcantara sport seats with GTI TCR detailing add a special touch. Floor mats with black and red stitching further set it apart as does climatronic air-conditioning, red ambient light strips and an exclusive sports steering wheel.

 

Everything comes standard

The Golf GTI TCR also features standard technology such as Dynamic Chassis Control, including driving profile selection, Active Info Display, Parallel Park Assist and LED headlights.

The host of standard features mean that the TCR is the only model in the Volkswagen range where the only optional extra is the colour, customers can choose from Pure White, Tornado Red or Pure Grey. Only 300 of these special cars will be available in South Africa, authenticated by a unique number on the dashboard and a personalised ownership certificate.

 

Under the bonnet

Under the bonnet is a similar 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, direct injection, turbocharged unit as found in regular GTI models. In the TCR however, it has received a power upgrade and now produces 213kW at 5 400rpm and 380Nm between 1 950 and 5300 rpm. Coupled with the six-speed DSG transmission, it completes the 0-100km/ sprint in just 5,6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 264km/h.

 

Summary

The Golf GTI TCR is a fitting swansong to the Mk7 platform. It might not be the fastest or most focussed Golf yet, that title still belongs to the Clubsport, but this is very close. However, the specification, the power upgrades, the trick front end and diff, added stopping power, wheels and beautiful interior are exactly how I would specify a Golf if I could have my way and that in my opinion, makes it the ultimate Golf. Long live the Mk7, but I can’t wait for the Mk8 to arrive in 2021.