Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Amazing

Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR review

As you can see, these are Golf GTI Performance. We're at the race track near Barcelona; the Castellolí track. We're going to do something very cool today. First, we're doing some laps with these GTIs. For those who haven't been here before... I have, with the Seat León Cupra, a long time ago. As you can hear, another car is being driven here. I'm doing laps with that one as well today. Unfortunately, it's raining. We'll have to be careful. I'm going to drive the Golf GTI TCR today. The TCR championship... I'm entering the pit lane. The TCR is a new championship entering its 3rd season. This championship is based on Balance of Performance. 

This means all cars need to be as equal as possible. What brands compete? Volkswagen with the Golf, Audi with the S3, Seat with the León, Lada Vesta, Honda Civic, Opel Astra... Peugeot is testing the 308. They may join the championship as well. All in all, a lot of brands. The first drivers have left the track. The weather is horrible. The Golf Rs are in front with great drivers. Two VW drivers. Benny is a friendly dude, but the other man playing pace car with a Golf R... AWD, so they have an advantage in the rain. He's Hans-Joachim Stuck. If you don't know him, you should work on your general knowledge. He's a legend. DTM champion, Le Mans champion, he was a F1 driver in the '70s. 

Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR review
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

Like he said yesterday: back then racing was still dangerous and sex was safe. It's the other way around nowadays. This Golf is wider than a standard Golf. It has a different rear wing. This rear wing has been changed for the 2017 model. It's lower than last year, which improves the aerodynamics. The car is 15 cm wider. Of course it has a huge roll cage. They removed part of the center console to move the driver to a more central position. This gives him a better feel of the car when driving it on the limit. Of course it has a more aggressive front bumper with a splitter. It looks really nasty and mean. What a car. And I'll be driving it on track. I have my helmet with HANS device and I'm wearing my race suit. It's going to happen. I'm going to hit the track. It's exciting. The track is wet. This is the first time I'm driving a full race car on track. 

There are no assistance systems; no ABS, ESP, etc. I have to do everything myself. I've driven many street cars on tracks, which I was fairly good at, but still. I think it's exciting. We'll see. I'll tell you what's in front of me. A steering wheel with all the basic controls. These are the standard DSG flappy pedals. This car has DSG. That's the cheaper version to buy; 9,000 euros. This is the handbrake. We won't use it. This can change the brake balance. I won't do that either. This is the ignition, etc. It has a standard DSG gear selector. The transmission lasts a long time. One car has 40,000 race km (25,000 miles) with a standard DSG. It still doesn't need an overhaul. There we go. It's tricky. The track is a bit slippery, but it's drying. The car feels great. It's stiffer than a street car because the chassis... It has different shock absorbers, springs, and wheels. The chassis itself is 50% stiffer. Stay off the curbstones and then power! 345 hp and 420 Nm (310 lb ft) torque. 
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR review

The DSG was adjusted to shift faster using software and different springs. The rest is the same as a street GTI. I'm struggling with DSG transmissions in street cars. However, I don't misshift with this one. Volkswagen should look at its motorsport devision. For the software they're using, because it's better than the street version. The big handle here isn't for shifting gears. It's the handbrake. On some tracks, such as the Macau street circuit, you need the handbrake to take some corners. Especially last season. The 2017 TCR uses different software for the steering, making it shorter and directer. The handbrake is no longer needed. This is so cool. I could do this all day, but I have to leave the track. Unfortunately, that's it. That was intense. I feel the same tingly sensation as when I got in. This car gives you confidence. This is not a difficult car to drive. 

I expected it to be f*ing tricky. It looks like it's going to eat you. I was afraid it'd be a difficult car to handle in these conditions. However, it's not that bad. It's very accessible. Of course you'll get understeer on the limit. But wow. This is cool. This is f*ing cool. I want one. Can I? I get 2 thumbs up of Hans-Joachim Stuck. I'm having a moment. That's... wow. Did you have some fun as well? I saw you sliding around and all. It's great. This car handles so easy. Way easier. I thought it would be way meaner. You're a good driver. - Thank you. Mr Hans-Joachim Stuck said I'm a good driver. Thank you. Fantastic. That's it. We're done. It was bizarre to see the difference between a street car and a track car on the same platform. It's the same MQB platform and chassis, but reinforced. It's bizarre to see how much tighter and stiffer it is and how much mechanical grip it has. A FWD car. 

The Golf R Hans-Joachim Stuck drove was sliding all over the place. He was looking for it, but sometimes couldn't help it. I had more grip than that car, especially in fast corners. It's nice to keep up with a race legend such as Mr Stuck. Fantastic. It was really cool to do. Thank you, Volkswagen. 


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