Volkswagen Golf GTI Gets Facelift, Ditches Manual Gearbox in Official Announcement

The Future of the Three-Pedal Option in the US: Is It Possible?

Listen up car enthusiasts, we have some unfortunate news. The much-anticipated overhaul of the Volkswagen Golf will not include a manual transmission option for the first time in its 50-year history.

The news was revealed during CES 2024, as Kai Grunitz, Volkswagen’s technical development chief, stated that the traditional three-pedal setup will no longer be available. According to Automotive News Europe, the revised Golf is scheduled to make its debut on January 24, and will only come with a dual-clutch transmission. This indicates that even the GTI model will not offer a manual gearbox anymore.

As per Grunitz, there were various factors that led to this choice. In the first place, an astounding 95% of Golf GTI purchasers selected the swift and smooth DSG option, and additionally, the stringent Euro 7 emissions standards posed challenges in retaining the manual transmission.

Despite the current state of affairs, there is a possibility for America to emerge triumphant.

According to Grunitz, speaking at CES 2024, “When we began the development process, there was uncertainty surrounding the release of Euro 7 rules.” He also stated that “The fundamental concept of the Golf remains excellent, so we did not have to make significant changes to the vehicle.” However, there were some modifications made to the manual.

It is possible that the Manual Golf GTI may still be offered in the United States. This is due to the fact that American-spec models are not required to adhere to Euro 7 standards. Additionally, there is a high demand for GTIs with manual transmissions among local customers. VW USA’s Hein Schafer stated to CarBuzz in 2022 that 40% of buyers who chose the Golf GTI or Golf R preferred a manual transmission.

We have contacted Volkswagen of America to clarify if this choice will have an impact on cars sold in North America, and we will revise this article accordingly once we receive a response. We remain optimistic that the manufacturer will continue offering manual transmission options for both the US and Canadian markets.

According to Grunitz’s statement from last year, the upcoming GTI model would not come equipped with a manual transmission. However, there were rumors circulating that there might be a small possibility of the manual transmission remaining. With Volkswagen’s recent confirmation of this news, we can only hope that America will be the exception and still offer the beloved choice for enthusiastic drivers.

Fortunately, the updated Golf 8.5 will bring some positive developments. This model will feature a range of important enhancements, starting with improved ergonomics, software, and illuminating sliders. In previous times, Volkswagen had faced criticism for its complicated interior designs, particularly the touch capacitive controls on the steering wheel.

Fortunately, the Golf 8.5 has brought back physical buttons and user-friendly controls to its interior. According to Grunitz, “One of our main worries with the Golf was that our customers were not having a smooth experience interacting with the digital dashboard.”

Taking a brief pause from the outside world, the updated Golf will incorporate MIB4 digital technology for its display screens. Volkswagen claims this system offers improved ease of use and functionality compared to previous versions. Positioned on the dashboard, a 12.9-inch touchscreen is angled towards the driver. In contrast to recently released VW models (such as the Passat), the Golf will stick with its traditional center console gear selector.

During the CES event in 2024, Volkswagen revealed its plans to incorporate ChatGPT technology into their vehicles. This new addition is said to be compatible with the in-car voice assistant, promising customers enhanced functionality and a wider range of features.Volkswagen made the exciting announcement at the renowned CES conference in 2024, revealing their intention to integrate ChatGPT into their vehicle lineup. The innovative technology will seamlessly integrate with the existing in-car voice assistant, offering customers an array of improved functions and additional features.

According to Grunitz, achieving effective voice control is an incredibly tough task. He firmly believes that the key to success lies in utilizing advanced AI-powered language models.

As predicted, the Golf 8.5 is set to utilize a revised iteration of the MQB combustion engine platform. This platform has already been utilized for the recently unveiled Tiguan and Passat models, both of which were introduced last year.

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