Usually when Volkswagen creates some ultra-hot version of its little hatchback, it uses a Golf GTI or R. That’s what is so surprising about this new concept race car, because it’s based on a humble, good ol’ regular Golf with front-wheel drive.
The car has a pretty wild look. It has the appearance of being wider and ready to pounce, and for good reason. VW actually widened the chassis by 40 centimeters (that’s over 15 inches for those who still believe the metric system is a tool of the devil). The hot hatch rides on 18-inch racing wheels and has a rear wing that is enough to make many Fast and Furious fanboys jealous. The aggressive looks are punctuated by a crazy front splitter that adds to the car’s aerodynamics.
Make no mistake, the concept vehicle is made for one thing and one thing only: racing. It features a safety cell, a single racing seat with head protectors and even a safety fuel tank that meets FIA regulations. The interior is stripped down to the bare necessities and features a nice roll cage.
Under the hood is a nice 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which at first doesn’t sound all that special. The thing is that it’s the same powerplant that Volkswagen uses on the Golf R. It’s been tuned to produce a peak 330 horsepower and 302 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated to it is a DSG gearbox that can be controlled using the paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel.
The question that begs to be answered is why? Why would VW create such a concept vehicle? Is it just for fun? The answer is that the automaker is that the company is considering entering the Golf into the new Touring Car Racer International Series, which is called TCR.
The automaker is looking to get some real-world experience with the Golf concept. To gain that invaluable experience, the car is going to race in the four final weekends for the TCR series, which will be held in Austria, Singapore, Thailand and Macau, China. If the testing goes well, VW could start selling a production version to customers in the near future.