The world’s first racing development of the new Volkswagen Golf was unveiled earlier this week by Volkswagen Racing UK, prior to its track debut next weekend at Donington Park in one of the UK’s best supported championships, the Volkswagen Racing Cup.
Paul Willis, Director of Volkswagen UK, along with Andrew Coombe, Head of Marketing, took the wraps off the new Golf TDI Racer at the Milton Keynes headquarters of Volkswagen UK on Monday 22 March.
The new car is not only the first racing Golf Mk V, but is also the first Volkswagen to make its motorsport debut in diesel form. Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre, 16-valve TDI powerplant developing 210 PS.
When the lights flash to green at Donington Park on 4 April for the opening round of the championship, the new Golf will be part of a unique cavalcade of Volkswagens - also on the grid will be examples of the first four generations of the company’s best-selling hatchback.
The new car will be handled by a variety of drivers during the season, including journalists and celebrities, and will, believes Volkswagen Racing UK managing director Sam Roach, prove a force with which to be reckoned. ‘Two years ago a Golf TDI Mk IV made history as the first diesel to win a race in Britain,’ said Roach, ‘and I believe that the new Golf, which has more outright power and better torque characteristics, has the potential to be a front-runner also.’
Volkswagen Racing UK has made few changes to the standard Golf’s specification; a limited-slip differential has been adopted and larger front brakes fitted as well as fully adjustable KW suspension. Most of the car’s performance boost has come as the result of redefined engine mapping by Superchips and a Milltek racing exhaust system.
‘We have deliberately kept the car as close to showroom specification as possible,’ added Roach, ‘to underline the point that the new Golf is a formidable proposition even in road trim.’
The Golf Mk V will not be the only turbodiesel on the Donington grid: it will face opposition from the Mk IV Golf TDIs of Lloyd Allard and Mark Thomas, and will be up against a host of petrol-powered machinery, including the 3.2-litre four-wheel-drive Golf R32.
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