One can go out on a limb and say that Volkswagen are the masters of putting together the fastest hatchbacks on the market.
The German brand already has an influx of different Mk7 performance variants like the GTI, Clubsport, Clubsport S, R and now the TCR. With the eighth-generation Golf, GTI and R models due to arrive in South Africa later this year, is the introduction of the TCR so close to the MK8 a wise move?
Weighing up options
Volkswagen had to introduce the TCR at some point before the MK8 Golf, because, well, 7 is before 8. With such a fragile economy and a dip in new car sales in recent months, the assumption would be that not many people would want to part with R669 000 at present if they’re unsure their jobs aren’t secured.
Majority of GTI afficionados already had their sights set on the MK8 GTI merely because the MK7 is ceasing production of all models. The introduction of the TCR and the fact that there will only be 297 units available, will definitely make people think twice. To sweeten the deal even further, each TCR will have a unique number that will be placed under the rear GTI logo as well as an ownership certificate.
Although pricing for the MK8 Golf range hasn’t been released yet, you can put it in the ballpark of R350 000, with the GTI at coming it over R500 000, roughly in the price range as those models currently on offer. Of course, petrolheads don’t care much for Trend and Comfortline trims, the GTI and R is what ticks the boxes.
Is it 7 or 8?
There is every chance that VW will sell most, if not all of the TCR models being shipped here. In addition, it is significantly cheaper than all of its competitors – the Hyundai I30 N and Honda Civic Type R for example – which makes it a standout option.
The MK8 on the other hand is an entirely different model altogether with different technologies and design. Furthermore, new VW models tend to do very well – as seen with the T-Cross and countless Polo’s.
From a logical point of view the new Golf is the best value-for-money option. Buying a model close to its expiration comes across as more of a compulsive buy, but you can argue that the TCR is not your average hatch and deserves the run its getting from now until the next-gen GTI arrives.