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VW teases GTI TCR, a 286-hp hot hatch racer for the road

It'll debut at the annual Wörthersee show on May 9 in all its 286-horsepower glory.

VW isn't reinventing the wheel, but it's definitely making it angrier.


The standard Volkswagen Golf GTI puts out a solid 220 horsepower, and it's a perennial favorite among hot-hatch aficionados. Things are about to get wild, though, when Volkswagen debuts a way more powerful variant.

Volkswagen will unveil the Golf GTI TCR at the annual Wörthersee show in Austria, which is a huge celebration of all things Volkswagen. The TCR bit of its name is borrowed from the TCR International Series, an international touring car championship, in which Volkswagen competes with a GTI-derived race car.

Unlilke the racer, the forthcoming GTI TCR will be road legal. It will use a modified version of the GTI's 2.0-liter I4, putting out 286 horsepower, or 66 more than you get in a regular GTI. Torque is up to 272 pound-feet, about 14 twist-units above the standard GTI. Like the GTI, it'll be front-wheel drive, which will help differentiate it from the 292-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Golf R. Sadly, no manual transmission will be offered -- a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox is all you get.

VW only has teasers on offer ahead of its May 9 debut, but it gives us a good idea of what to expect -- aggression, and a good amount of it. Both bumpers have angrier aerodynamics, and the wheels are large enough to fill the wells completely. If there's no change to the height from these pictures, that ride is going to be stiff.

Keep your eyes peeled to Roadshow, where we are all admittedly addicted to hot hatches, to check out the actual GTI TCR when Volkswagen pulls back the veil on May 9.

Thank goodness backup cameras are now mandatory. That rear end looks plenty low.