Another one bites the dust. One of the world’s most revered hot hatches, the Volkswagen Golf GTI, has officially said goodbye to the manual gearbox.
At the start of this week, we got our first glimpse of the facelifted eight-generation model, albeit in camouflage, which made its debut at the CES 2024 technology show in Las Vegas. It was then that we also got word that the stick shift wouldn’t be offered in the new GTI, with those rumours today being confirmed by Volkswagen’s technical development boss Kai Grünitz.
He says that part of the reason as to why the manual was dropped is because no one simply bought it, reports Automotive News Europe. Out of all eight-generation GTIs sold, just 5 per cent of buyers opted for three-pedals, while the other 95 per cent went for the DSG dual-clutch automatic.
In addition, stringent Euro 7 emissions regulation proposals also put the German carmaker off continuing to offer the shift-it-yourself gearbox.
“When we started with the development, there was no clear understanding at which point of time EU7 will be released,” Grünitz told Automotive News Europe. “At some point of time you have to start your development, otherwise you will not hit the timeline.”
It wasn’t like this was a surprise decision though, as the technical boss alluded to the manual’s demise as early as June last year. However, it was then that we thought the gearbox would be dropped from the entire Golf line-up which is no longer the case. At least in Europe, you’ll still be able to option a manual in other Golf variants, just not the GTI.
With that being said, it’ll be the first time since the Golf GTI was introduced in 1976 that it won’t be offered with a manual gearbox. While it’s a shame to lose a staple feature of the hot hatch, you can’t blame VW for their decision, all things considered.