21 February 2011

Race Car Of The Day: VW Golf 24 Racer

This flame-spitting beast is the Volkswagen Golf24, VW’s new Nurburgring 24hr racer. The Golf24 will race at the ‘Green Hell’ in the legendary endurance event on 25-26 June 2011, but although it’s been built as part of Volkswagen’s celebrations for the 35th anniversary of the GTI, it shares little with the hot hatch that we know and love.

The Golf 24 is based on all sorts of parts from within the VW Group. The Golf shell is instantly recognisable despite the blistered bodywork, and under the bonnet is the turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine that you’ll find in the RS3 and TT RS. But rather than the 335bhp and 332lb ft it produces in road-trim, in the Golf24 it’s been tuned to deliver 435bhp and 398lb ft. Of course the GTI’s front-drive chassis couldn’t cope with all that torque, so the Golf24 is four-wheel drive. The gearbox is a six-speed sequential paddle-shift unit.

The Golf24 has already completed its initial shakedown at the Portimao circuit in Portugal in December 2010, and further testing at Vallelunga in Italy. It will now compete in at least three Endurance Championship events at the ‘Ring before the full 24-hour race in June 2011.

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