VW's newest Wörthersee concept is called the GTI TCR and it's hot

The TCR is the highest-performance GTI ever and it's almost ready to terrorize the streets of Europe.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read

Ask any superfans what event they're most excited for during a calendar year, and you're going to hear a lot about Wörthersee. It's the world's biggest gathering of VWs and every year, the folks from Wolfsburg bring something special to get all the Dubbers fired up. Typically it's a weird concept, like a midengined Golf, but this time out, the concept is destined for production.

The concept in question is called the GTI TCR, and right off the bat, we have to lodge our obligatory complaint that this terror isn't destined for our shores. That said, it's like the GTI we all know and love, but if it spent the last year eating nothing but Fun Dip and drinking Monster Energy and listening to Anthrax.

VW's new GTI TCR is a seriously hot hatch

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First off, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine has been tuned to produce 286 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, available at 1,600 rpm. The Volkswagen corporate seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is the only gearbox on offer, but you do get a real-deal limited-slip differential as standard. Top speed is limited by the factory to 155 miles per hour unless you check a certain special option box that lets the GTI TCR live its best life at 164 mph.

The TCR gets 18-inch Belvedere wheels as standard with 19-inch hoops being optional. The brakes are plenty butch for such a heated hatch, with cross-drilled rotors standard and special pad compounds to increase braking performance. The same option box that gets you a higher top speed will also get you electronically adjustable dampers with a sport chassis setting for maximum wheel-lift action.

Externally the GTI TCR gets a new body kit with a new front bumper that feeds two extra radiators. The concept version has a chic new graphics package with sporty hexagons (that's a thing, right?), a theme that gets carried over to the sports seats.

If you find yourself in Austria this week, definitely check it out, and if you're craving the coolest GTI on Earth, maybe bug someone there about ordering one.