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Volkswagen releases 2019 Golf GTI TCR with 290 hp

This is likely the current GTI's swan song.

Volkswagen is channeling its racing expertise into a new evolution of the Golf GTI named TCR.

The TCR's rather low-key appearance hides a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to deliver 290 horsepower. This figure places it within striking distance of the Golf R. The biggest and most important difference between the two hatchbacks is that the GTI TCR's turbo four sends its power to the front wheels only. Volkswagen quotes a zero-to-60-mph time of 5.6 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph. Buyers can lift the limiter to 161 mph.

The TCR boasts a locking front differential, upgraded brakes, sport seats for the front passengers, and a sport steering wheel. It rides on 18-inch alloy wheels, and it receives a model-specific body kit, but it's more discreet-looking than other hot hatches in recent memory -- we're looking at you, Honda Civic Type R.

The 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR will go on sale in Europe in the coming months. In Germany, pricing starts at 38,950 euros, a sum that represents approximately $45,000. As of writing, it doesn't sound like Volkswagen will offer the TCR in the United States.

The TCR is most likely the current-generation GTI's swan song; the eighth-generation Golf is right around the corner, meaning we'll see a new GTI sooner rather than later.

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