No More Manuals for 2025 Golf GTI and Golf R: Official Announcement

Secure Your 2024 Manual Transmission Before Time Runs Out!

At last month’s CES event in Las Vegas, Volkswagen unveiled a disguised 2025 Golf GTI, but the official reveal was delayed until a few weeks later in Europe. Although the US version has yet to make an appearance, a prototype with minimal coverings was spotted at the F.A.T. Ice Race Aspen in Carbondale, Colorado. Curious about what’s next for this iconic sports hatchback, we reached out to VW of America for some insight.Volkswagen debuted a camouflaged 2025 Golf GTI at the recent CES convention held in Las Vegas. However, the actual unveiling of the car happened a few weeks later in Europe. Though there has been no sight of the American model, a partially disguised prototype made an appearance at the F.A.T. Ice Race Aspen in Carbondale, Colorado. Eager to learn more about what is in store for the beloved hot hatch, we sought information from VW of America.

In a recent development that has left many disappointed, it has been confirmed that the beloved six-speed manual gearbox will no longer be an option for the Golf GTI and Golf R models after the 2024 model year. In response to inquiries by Motor1, Jerohn Anderson, Product Communications Specialist at Volkswagen of America, revealed that the manual transmission will no longer be available for these popular models after MY2024. This news has sparked concern among fans of the manual gearbox, who fear that it may soon become obsolete in the automotive industry.

There have been rumors indicating that Volkswagen might reconsider their decision, thanks to the looser Euro 7 guidelines. However, the European version of the Golf GTI was released exclusively with a DSG transmission. As a result, its counterpart in America will also no longer offer a manual option. The special edition GTI 380 marked the final farewell to the Golf’s three-pedal version in the United States.

There is a justification for how the European standard, Euro 7, would have an effect on the American version. In 2023, the manual transmission Golf GTI only made up roughly five percent of overall sales in the US. As most of the sales came from other countries, it became impractical to continue offering a manual option in North America. Despite some easing of regulations in regards to Euro 7, the timeline didn’t align with the production process of the Golf Mk8.5, which was already well underway.

Although the Golf R lacked a manual gearbox option in Europe, it was available for American drivers who preferred to manually shift gears. However, starting from the 2025 model year, the top-of-the-line all-wheel-drive model will only come with an automatic transmission. This doesn’t mark the end of manual transmissions in the Golf 8, as certain markets will still offer lower-priced versions with either a 1.5 TSI gasoline or a 2.0 TDI diesel engine paired with a traditional clutch mechanism.

It will be a major letdown for fans looking to purchase a GTI or an R if the manual is not available. In the start of the current year, we inquired Volkswagen about the number of individuals who opted for the high-performance hatch with a standard transmission in 2023. The data revealed that 50 percent of buyers chose the GTI, while the R closely followed with 40 percent, equivalent to the Jetta GLI’s take rate.

As part of our inquiries, we inquired to VoA about the potential power increase for the 2025 Golf GTI, as seen in the updated version currently sold in Europe. Despite our questioning, Jerohn Anderson declined to confirm if the model for the US market would also see a gain of 20 horses, potentially bringing the total horsepower up to 261.

Volkswagen is still keeping the updated Golf R under wraps. However, a disguised vehicle was spotted at the Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria in late January. The official debut is expected to take place this summer. As of now, it remains unclear if Europe will also see a release of the Golf R wagon. Leaked images suggest that the wagon version will continue to be produced.

There is a lack of certainty regarding the possible increase in power for the top-of-the-line model. Both the 2023 Golf R333 and the 20 Years Edition, released a year earlier, boasted 328 horsepower in Europe. If VW decides to unleash this additional strength for the standard Golf R, it would result in a 13 horsepower boost in output.

According to recent reports, the upcoming GTI and R models will mark the end of an era for Volkswagen’s combustion engine vehicles. This is due to the fact that the car manufacturer plans to introduce an all-electric model for the eighth-generation Golf, effectively replacing the current model. As a result, the iconic “GTI” and “R” monikers will continue to exist in the electric era. In fact, VW has already taken steps to trademark a modified “GTI” logo with a thunderbolt replacing the last letter.

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