2024 Is Your Last Chance to Buy a GTI or Golf R with a Manual
2024 will be the last model year to purchase a new GTI or Golf R with a manual transmission. Volkswagen announced the Golf GTI 380 special edition model, which celebrates the heritage of the manual transmission in VW’s hot hatch models. Though it has no send-off model of its own, the Golf R will also end manual transmission availability after the 2024 model year. The 6-speed manual transmission will still be available across the model line for 2024.
“The GTI 380 conveys our appreciation for the enthusiasts who have continually demonstrated their love for the manual-equipped GTI for over four decades,” said Petar Danilovic, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing & Strategy for Volkswagen of America.
Low Take Rate and Emissions Regulations Are Likely to Blame
While no reason was given for the transmission’s demise, manual transmission take rates have steadily declined over the years. Even on models with overt driver-enjoyment focus like the GTI and Golf R, only 8423 three-pedal versions of both models were sold in 2022.
Another issue is that the manual transmission-equipped models produce slightly more emissions than their automatic counterparts, impacting overall emissions for the brand amidst Europe’s ever-tighter emissions regulations. The U.S. emissions requirements remain stable, but Volkswagen can’t make a business case for building manuals just for one market with a shrinking take rate.
After 2024, the GTI and Golf R will carry on with the excellent seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. It outperforms the manual transmission on every metric, except for fun, for manual transmission fans.
GTI 380 Helps Say Goodbye
The special features on the GTI 380 (the number comes from an internal code) will undoubtedly appeal to driving enthusiasts. It will most notably be equipped with the DCC® adaptive damping system from the flagship Autobahn trim level. It will sport standard summer tires wrapped around the black-finish 19-inch wheels that formerly appeared on the Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition. The model will have a bespoke color of Graphite Gray Metallic, along with the other GTI colors. Accompanying the black wheels are a blacked-out roof and side mirrors. There are no changes to the 241 hp GTI engine.
The GTI 380 will have a starting MSRP of $33,635. If you are a fan of choosing your own gears, this may be an excellent time to visit Volkswagen of Duluth to check out all the GTI and Golf R have to offer, in addition to a clutch pedal.