TCR Cars in iRacing: Which Is Best?

TCR is one of iRacing’s most popular classes due to its rough-and-tumble racing style and vehicle variety, so let’s find out which car is fastest.

The TCR class in iRacing provides some of the closest racing across the whole of the service. While not providing as much raw performance as the majority of machinery available on iRacing, the aggressive nature of the racing that comes part-and-parcel with touring car racing more than makes up for it.

Should you want to get a slice of the action but aren’t sure which car to choose, Coach Dave Academy has gone through each with a tooth comb to help give you an idea of which one suits you best.

Where can you race TCR cars?

All four TCR cars featured within iRacing can be run within two different racing series, both under the Turn Touring Car Challenge banner, which you can learn more about in our guide here.

The fixed setup series features 15-minute races and requires a Class D road licence to enter, while there is also an open setup contest that is contested over 30 minutes and facilitates a C Class licence.  

The TCR class is also eligible to compete in the IMSA Pilot Challenge series, which runs on Saturdays on a fortnightly basis. These endurance-style races are run in a multi-class format alongside entries from the faster GT4 category and are contested over two hours.

The current list of TCR cars in iRacing

Looking at the cars specifically, the different body styles of each vehicle have an impact on their respective handling traits, as well as how they perform in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, giving the TCR class depth and nuance. These are the current TCR cars featured within iRacing:

The big outlier within the TCR class is the Audi RS 3 LMS, which is set apart from Honda and Hyundai’s challengers through its rear-wheel drive format. All four cars have two-litre turbocharged engines though, but have slightly different handling characteristics that may suit particular drivers more than others depending on the car selected. 

This aspect will come to light over a race distance, where the more comfortable you are with the car the more consistent you will be – for example, a driver may find a front-wheel-drive car too difficult to master. Picking the car that’s in line with your own personal style will translate into improved tyre performance as a result of smoother driving, as well as reducing mental fatigue due to feeling you are at one with the machine.  

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Hyundai Elantra N TC

Featuring a 250 hp two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder motor developed by Hyundai’s N-division, the Elantra is the third different model that the Korean brand has developed after the i30 N TCR and the Veloster.

Interestingly, it is the longest of the TCR vehicles available within iRacing at just over 4.7 meters, and along with the RS 3, is one of two cars that has a sedan-style body shape which has significant effects on its underlying handling characteristics.   

What Makes The Hyundai Elantra N TC The Strongest Car?

  • Very stable due to the length of the car
  • Compliant suspension setup that makes it easy to drive over kerbs
  • Offers more variability in terms of brake bias and ABS settings

These characteristics make the Elantra TC the ideal vehicle to jump into if you are new to driving front-wheel drive race cars. The fact it’s the longest of the four TCR machines means it is the most stable through medium and high-speed bends, meaning you won’t need to worry about correcting it as often while lapping.

This stable balance should suit the vast majority of sim racers, while the extra variability in brake bias and ABS settings allows each driver to tune the car to a balance more to their liking as they get used to front-wheel drive. These attributes make the Elantra Coach Dave Academy’s choice as the best overall TCR vehicle.

Honda Civic FK8 TCR

The Honda Civic TCR FK8 is the Japanese manufacturer’s second offering in the TCR world, coming after the FK2 variation which was one of the founding fathers of the TCR category back in 2015.  

It’s the shortest of the current TCR offerings in iRacing at 4.5 meters and also is one of two hatchback-style vehicles alongside the Veloster TC, suiting slower speed scenarios compared to the Elantra.

Why Choose The Honda Civic FK8 TCR?

  • Short length makes Civic the most agile in slow corners due to extra rotation
  • Compliant suspension setup makes it stable over kerbs and gives easy balance at most circuits

The Civic TCR’s shorter overall length means it feels more alive and provides more agility in slower corners compared to the Elantra. However, similarly to the Elantra, its suspension feels very forgiving and it can be thrown over most kerbs pretty easily, making it a good choice at most venues whether they’re smooth or bumpy – that said though, iRacing’s default setups for the Civic have been known to cause bouncing at the unloaded rear when attacking kerbs too heavily which is something to be aware of in extreme situations.

The Civic comes up a little short in terms of top speed due to its hatchback body style, which makes it less aerodynamically efficient than the Elantra, ultimately leaving it behind the Elantra in Coach Dave Academy’s ranking but still high up on our list thanks to its excellent mechanical handling.

  • Bolting on a Coach Dave Developed setup for the Civic can help you get comfortable with the car as quickly as possible.

Hyundai Veloster N TC

The Veloster is Hyundai’s US-based TCR product, rarely leaving North America other than with a single entry to the TCR UK series. Whilst you might not see it racing as internationally as rival TCR cars such as the Honda Civic FK8, don’t be put off as it is a formula proven to be just as competitive, most recently winning the 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with Robert Wickens at the helm.

The Veloster features the same two-litre turbocharged engine as its sister Elantra model, though it is packaged in a slightly shorter and more compact hatchback body.

Why Should The Hyundai Veloster N TC Be Considered?

  • The car rotates easier than the Civic or Elantra and can be more fun when tamed
  • Has more brake bias and ABS options than Civic or RS 3 so more tuneable to driver preference
  • Quick steering makes it easy to catch when sliding

The Veloster feels like a less developed version of the Elantra due to its less compliant suspension setup, which makes it a bit snappier when attacking kerbs. It also rotates more easily through faster bends, which can make it difficult to drive quickly for those fresh to front-wheel drive vehicles.  

Its tendency to oversteer does work well in slower bends compared to the Elantra, though it doesn’t feel any better in this area than the Civic, which is more controllable.

The Veloster can be competitive in the right hands, though it’s tougher for less experienced drivers to get the most from.  

Audi RS 3 LMS

The Audi RS 3 LMS is the oldest of iRacing’s TCR quartet having made its real-life debut in 2017. Its two-litre turbocharged motor was developed by Audi Sport and it is the only TCR car in iRacing to not feature a clutch as a result of it being fitted with a DSG gearbox in the sim, although this doesn’t pose any issues when getting off the line due to every TCR car’s launch control feature.

The RS 3 is in the middle in terms of overall size at 4.6 meters in length and features a sedan-style body shape which makes it more rounded in aerodynamic performance, whilst its rear-wheel drive layout makes it feel more natural out of the box for drivers jumping in from other sportscars in iRacing. 

What Makes The Audi RS 3 Competitive?

  • Short gear ratios make it fastest from a standing start
  • iRacing BOP and sedan shape give it the highest top speed by a narrow margin

The RS 3 can be competitive in the right hands, especially at tracks with long straights due to the vehicle’s slightly higher top speed compared to its rivals. Its rear-wheel drive format and short gear ratios can also help it accelerate off the line faster, but the Audi’s main weak point relative to its opposition comes as a consequence of its less-compliant suspension setup. This makes it hard to drive over kerbs, which can cost lap time on tracks where attacking the track limits is necessary to carry more speed through the bends. Overall, it is well-balanced but lacks raw performance.  

Final Thoughts

All four TCR machines available in iRacing are competitive enough to allow you to race towards the front of the field, though this task will be more easily achievable when choosing the Elantra or Civic models. This is due to how easy these cars are to drive, and how compliant they are across all surface types.

The Veloster and RS 3 are trickier to get the most out of and be consistent with, but they do provide their own unique advantages. They are also good fun to race due to the fact they move around more than the Elantra or Civic.

Whichever route you choose, Coach Dave Academy is here with a host of carefully tested setups, lap guides and coaching options to keep you at the right end of the results sheet

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