Lake Wörthersee - The new Golf GTI TCR Concept doesn’t really look like a concept car and there’s a good reason for that - Volkswagen readily admits that it’s “almost ready for production”.

Revealed at this year’s GTI Meeting at Wörthersee, the concept was inspired by the racing car that shares its name, and if the production car matches its performance credentials (which it almost certainly will), then it’ll be the fastest and most powerful Golf GTI ever.

It’s powered by a version of the familiar 2-litre turbopetrol engine, tuned to 213kW and 370Nm - which is a big increase from the current GTI’s outputs of 169kW and 350Nm, and not too far off the Euro-spec Golf R’s 228kW and 400Nm. No acceleration times divulged as yet, but VW says the production version - if specified without the electronic speed limiter - will be capable of reaching 264km/h.

Power still goes through the front wheels, via a seven-speed DSG gearbox, and buyers wanting a more dynamic edge will be able to opt for a sports chassis package that includes adaptive damping and 19-inch alloys (the standard car will have 18” rims).

The TCR is also distinguished by a unique front bumper, diffuser, a honeycomb body graphic and TCR lettering.

But when is it coming? Local introduction has yet to be conformed, but international sales are looking set to commence around year-end, as VW’s Jürgen Stackmann puts it:

"At the moment, the Golf GTI TCR Concept – an athlete derived from racing sport – is a study. But at the end of the year, we want to make this GTI vision come true."

IOL Motoring