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VW GTI TCR is one boss touring car

Not that you can go out and get one, because they're already sold out.

Now, if only VW would offer these fenders on the road-going GTI...


Has your racing team been on the lookout for a new touring car? Do you appreciate boy-racer good looks and a big ol' German badge on the hood? Well then, my friend, does Volkswagen have the race car for you -- the Golf GTI TCR.

Built to compete in the TCR International Series, which bills itself as a low-cost version of the World Touring Car Championship, the GTI TCR is a racer based on the production Volkswagen GTI. Aside from some gnarly fenders, the giant wing and some other aggressive cues, the cars are visually quite similar.

Under the hood, though, all bets are off -- the GTI TCR packs a variant of the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder found in the range-topping VW Golf R. It's been massaged to raise output to 330 horsepower. Resting between the engine and the front (driven) wheels is a six-speed sequential racing transmission -- while it sounds pretty slick, we can all but assure you that it would be far too harsh for anything resembling a normal road.

Volkswagen is only building 20 of these vehicles, and -- surprise, surprise -- they're already spoken for. The cars will be handed over no later than March 11 for testing beginning March 14. Actual racing starts on April 1, and it will be a supporting race for Formula 1's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Put a wing like that on your street GTI, and you'd be torn apart by the court of public opinion. And rightfully so, if we're being honest.