I well recall, for example, arriving at the office to be greeted by no less than seven Bugatti Veyrons neatly lined-up in a row a few years ago, never mind the (ordinarily exceptional) sight of brand-new Rolls-Royce models sedately tackling the circuit. There’s an occasional appearance of the hypercar exotica from Pagani, Koenigsegg, Zenvo and so on, too.
Therefore, by comparison, the undercoat grey-coloured Volkswagen Golf parked outside of the GRR office recently shouldn’t have merited a second glance. After all, it was just a Golf, a car that we are all so used to seeing every day that it just blends into the background (particularly when painted grey!).
Something about this Golf was different though, so different that it made me turn on my heels and go back to the car to take a second look. The VW in question was a brand-new Golf GTI, albeit a special version, the limited edition run-out TCR, parked outside the office for a GRR road test.
The TCR differs to a standard run-of-the-mill Golf GTI in a few subtle ways. It has an extended front splitter, roof spoiler and rear diffuser, for example, as well as different matt black alloys and carbonfibre door mirror covers. All fine additions, but surely not worthy of returning to the car for further inspection?
No, what really caught my eye was the astonishing graphics stuck on the side of the Golf, an odd and (in my view) hideous elongated black diamond formation that looked like graffiti sprayed on by a five-year-old child, with a pattern that would look far more at home on some 1980s kitchen tiles or a mid-range hotel bathroom. Yuk!
Thankfully these tacky hexagonal side decals can be dispensed with when placing an order, effectively as no-cost option, but I will wager that the majority of all Golf GTI TCR buyers will retain these frightful graphics to show the world that their VW is one ‘better’ than the regular GTI parked next to it. As a heads-up, if you are one of these prospective TCR owners, I for one will be the chap alongside you at the traffic lights pointing and laughing at these absurd and revolting graphics stuck onto this ultimate automotive expression of conspicuous consumerism.