The Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R will no longer be offered with a manual transmission after the 2024 model year.
The 2024 GTI 380 is a special package that all manual GTIs will be fitted with for their final year of production.
The 380 will be offered with an exclusive paint color, black 19-inch wheels from the Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition, and standard adaptive dampers on all trims.
UPDATE 8/31/23: Volkswagen confirmed the destination fee for the 2024 Golf GTI, and the prices listed in this story have been updated to reflect that. Volkswagen also told Car and Driver that the related Jetta GLI, which is built in Mexico while the Golf is assembled in Germany, will continue to be offered with a manual transmission.
2024 will mark the final year for the manual-transmission Volkswagen Golf GTI. The German automaker revealed a special edition of the hot hatch today called the Golf GTI 380, announcing that this package will be fitted to every 2024 stick-shift GTI as a send-off to the do-it-yourself gearbox. This will also be the last year for the manual transmission in the 315-hp Golf R.
The changes to the GTI 380—which borrows the number from the eighth-generation GTI's internal model code—are fairly subtle. Along with the normal range of paint options, the GTI 380 will be available in a unique hue called Graphite Gray Metallic. The black 19-inch wheels are swiped from the Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition and come wrapped in summer performance rubber as standard.
Mirroring the wheels are a blacked-out roof and side-view mirrors, and the adaptive dampers from the top-tier Autobahn model are now standard on all manual 2024 GTIs. Volkswagen didn't make any changes to the cabin of the GTI 380, and all GTIs continue to be motivated by the same turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine producing 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.
Volkswagen didn't specify why the manual transmission was going the way of the dodo, but it was likely a confluence of factors. Emissions regulations in Europe are getting significantly stricter, and as Autocar reported earlier this year, the manual GTI pumps out slightly more carbon dioxide than the automatic version, enough to affect VW's overall fleet emissions.
Although these regulations don't directly affect the United States, keeping the stick shift around for just one market—especially one where only 8423 GTIs and Golf Rs, automatic or manual, were sold in 2022—likely doesn't make financial sense. By removing the manual option, Volkswagen can streamline the GTI's assembly line, saving money.
Volkswagen says the GTI and Golf R will continue to be sold with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The 2024 GTI 380 goes on sale this fall, starting at $33,635 for the S model. The SE will ring in at $38,435 while the Autobahn will go for $41,775.
This story was originally published August 30, 2023.
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