Featuring 180kW and 370Nm as opposed to the current GTI’s 169kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo four engine tune, the next ‘standard’ Golf GTI will be followed by what will likely be an even more powerful ‘Performance Edition 2’.
In addition, the next model year GTI will have the Performance 1’s bigger brakes, front LSD, and 7-speed wet-clutch DSG transmission.
Unfortunately, Volkswagen has also dropped the 6-speed manual gearbox – and the 3-door GTI body – from the MY19 GTI in the process.
While manual stock for the current 169kW GTI exists in both standard 5-door spec and as the 3-door GTI Original, that’ll be the last of the manual GTI for now.
A Volkswagen Australia spokesperson tells MOTOR that after the GTI Original’s next allocation finishes, it’s unlikely there will be a big enough demand for manual GTIs as customers are generally looking at ‘higher-spec’ variants.
The next move from Volkswagen in the performance space, the GTI TCR, is still largely unconfirmed in its Australian spec, but it’s unlikely we’ll see a third pedal in the footwell.
VW Australia marketing manager Ben Wilks says VW made this move to ‘adapt’ to the market and upgrade its offerings as it sees fit to fill demand.
"Change brought about by the advent of Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure in Europe is one of the major challenges confronting European brands in this market, but we were able to take advantage of this situation to improve the best-selling car of its type.
"Such has been the demand for Performance Editions that making its specification standard is a logical progression, especially in terms of DSG, a transmission others are either trying to copy or cannot.
"This GTI embodies what customers want."