THE hottest Golf GTI to take to the road is being released by Volkswagen with the arrival of a TCR model derived from the company's racing car of the same name.
Powered by a 2.0-litre engine boosted to deliver 290ps - 45ps more than the standard GTI Performance model - the GTI TCR can accelerate 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds and has a top speed of 156mph with the option of increasing that to 162mph.
Standard equipment includes a front-axle differential lock, perforated brake discs, driving profile selection, premium front sport seats with a new microfibre/fabric design, seat belts with red edging plus an exclusive sports steering wheel.
Compared to the GTI Performance it also features forward anti-collision systems, VW's Active Info instrumentation and LED headlamps.
As with the racing models, which compete in touring car series, the steering wheel has marks in its leather covering at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions as well as a red mark at 12 o'clock.
Prices have still to be confirmed in the UK but in Germany the TCR is on sale at 38,950 euros which is around Â£34,500 - some Â£3,000 more than the three-door GTI Performance.
The TCR sits on 18-inch alloys and has black exterior mirror caps, sill extensions, a front splitter, a TCR roof spoiler and a diffuser at the rear.
It also comes with puddle lamps which project the TCR logo on to the road when the front doors are opened.
VW says the Golf GTI TCR can be further customised with options such as a new honeycomb decor foil for the side panels, carbon door mirror caps, a black painted roof, as well as various 19-inch alloy wheels.
The larger alloys are offered as a package, which among other things includes the top speed upgrade and dynamic chassis control.
The TCR is available only with a seven-speed DCT semi-automatic transmission and fuel economy under the new WLTP testing programme is rated at 37mpg with emissions of 175g/km.