It is tagged as “one for the purists” by the brand – the Volkswagen Golf GTI three-door will return to the range in Mark 7.5 guise in August in strictly limited-edition specification.
Officially called the Golf GTI Performance Edition 1 and available in 150 units for an as-yet undisclosed price, the three-door gets the full electrically actuated mechanical limited-slip differential (LSD) of the outgoing five-door Golf GTI Performance, but with higher outputs.
Power from the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine moves from 169kW to 180kW, while torque shifts from 350Nm to 370Nm.
Unfortunately, a six-speed manual remains off the table in LSD-equipped guise regardless of the number of doors on offer, but the dual-clutch automatic DSG now gets seven gears. The base Golf GTI (which now gets 169kW/350Nm, up from 162kW/350Nm) continues with a six-speed DSG, while the Golf R (now with 213kW/380Nm, up from 206kW/380Nm) also gets seven – although both do get a standard manual.
In the latter case, though, the R doesn’t get the full-fat 228kW/400Nm available overseas because it is again restricted apparently due to our hot climate. The 0-100km/h claim is 4.6 seconds overseas and 4.8sec here, which is still two-tenths faster than before.
What it means is the Mark 7.5 Golf range will run GTI manual or DSG, GTI Performance Edition 1 three-door and R hatchback, with the R wagon tipped to return in regular guise.
The GTI Performance Edition 1 three-door will also see the end of the GTI Performance five-door, while the exclusively Australia-only limited edition will be offered in either White Silver or Dark Iron Blue metallic paint only.
Standard are 19-inch alloy wheels, part-leather/part-honeycomb cloth trim, LED tail-lights with sequential indicators, full-colour TFT driver display, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep and parking assistance, auto high-beam, blind-spot monitor with rear-cross traffic alert and dark tinted rear and back windows – most of which is new to the Mark 7.5 lineup.
A $340 Merchandise Pack will also be thrown in for free, complete with a GTI-branded sports bag, umbrella, cup, folding box and beach towel.
The facelifted Golf GTI will go on-sale in June, with the Golf R to follow one month later.