Introducing the Ramair ‘Stormtrooper’

As you may have seen on our social channels, Ramair has recently taken delivery of a Golf TCR race car and we think you’ll agree – it looks awesome!

Based on the regular Mk7, this hardcore Golf has been designed purely for the track. It’s wider, lower, more powerful and generally a whole lot angrier than its road-going sibling – and we cannot wait to see what it can do in competition.

But this is more than a fancy track toy. Our very own Jamie Sturges will be driving it in the Touring Car Trophy. Having already had great success in his SEAT Leon Eurocup car, the Golf TCR is the next step.

At the moment our new toy is still in its stock white paint finish, which is why we’ve nicknamed it the ‘Stormtrooper’ in the office. A brand new 2019 Ramair livery will be applied before the first race, but in the meantime, we’re loving the plain white, which just seems to exaggerate the aggressive styling and those huge arches.

Aside from the aero additions, which all serve a purpose (from cooling the brakes, to creating downforce for extra grip), this Golf is a very different beast to a stock Mk7. We were keen to see how it compares visually with the top road going model – the R – and with one of these on our development fleet, we couldn’t resist parking them up together.

The TCR Golf is a be-winged monster – 40cm wider than the R with a large rear wing, deep front splitter and huge bonnet vent. Next to it, the stock Golf R looks like something your nan might drive.

Under the bonnet the differences are less pronounced. There’s the same EA888 Gen3 2.0-litre turbo engine as the 303bhp Golf R, but in this case it’s producing almost 350bhp. Power is fed through a 6-speed sequential gearbox (DSG is available), but unlike the R, it goes to the front wheels. In that sense, the TCR car has more in common with a Mk7 Golf GTI Clubsport.

Inside there’s a comprehensive roll cage which winds its way around the interior adding massive rigidity and strength to the body. The interior is dominated by the large metal stick rising from the transmission tunnel; it may look like a sequential shifter, but it’s actually the hydraulic hand brake.

The carbon-fibre driver’s seat is mounted way back with a long steering column extension for better weight distribution – if this were a road car, you’d almost be sat in the back seat. A pair of large metal paddles are mounted behind the chunky multi-function steering wheel and there’s a proper race car pedal box.

Although lightweight dash and door panels are fitted (the latter with cut outs for the rollcage), the rest of the inside is fully stripped lout. There’s no trim, plastics or sound deadening – just some chequer plate foot rests in the front and the fire-suppression system and FIA-approved fuel cell in the rear.

Starting the TCR is much like any other Golf – there’ a slight clatter followed by the thrum of the four-pot engine. It’s no drama to pull away either – simply select drive and away you go. Okay, there’s more noise and it all feels quite aggressive, but it isn’t super tricky.

The main difference between this and a road going Golf GTI or R is that this is designed to be hammered on track lap after lap. So it’s much harder edged – from the rock solid suspension, to those unassisted AP Racing brakes which take an almighty prod to activate. There’s no slack in the chassis or steering, just an immediate, direct feel to everything. We have it on good authority that once the slick 18in tyres are fully warmed, the grip produced by this Golf is incredible.

We’re looking forward to the first test session of the year to see just what the Ramair Stormtrooper can do. Stand by for further updates.