Volkswagen: Manual transmission for GTI and Golf R gone after 2024

Volkswagen/Andrew Trahan

One more shift-for-yourself opportunity bites the dust: A manual transmission in the Golf GTI and Golf R ends with the 2024 model, Volkswagen confirmed today.

The information was inherent to VW’s announcement of the 2024 Golf GTI 380, a special equipment set standard on every 2024 manual-transmission GTI. “Available exclusively in the North American market, this special-edition build combination celebrates the heritage of the manual transmission in VW’s hot hatches during the final year of three-pedal production for Golf GTI and Golf R.

2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI 380 interior front
Volkswagen/Andrew Trahan

“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 and Strategy for Volkswagen of America. Take rate for the GTI’s manual has been about 40 percent, but VW has earmarked 50 percent for this final year.

The “380” name comes from the Mk8’s (eighth generation) internal model code. It’s a nod to the fourth-generation GTI 337 special edition, sold in 2002, which borrowed the internal model code from the Mk1 GTI.

In the same spirit, the GTI 380 incorporates design and performance-enhancing elements and pairs them with an exclusive color to every manual-transmission trim for 2024—S, SE and Autobahn. “Enthusiasts will appreciate standard DCC adaptive damping system and multi-spoke gloss black 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels from the Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition shod with summer performance tires.”

A gloss black roof pairs with gloss black mirror caps, and there’s the classic red exterior detailing of GTI. Colors for the 2024 Golf GTI include Deep Black Pearl, Atlantic Blue Metallic, Kings Red Metallic, Reflex Silver Metallic, Moonstone Gray, and Opal White Pearl, along with Graphite Gray Metallic, which is exclusive to the GTI 380.

2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI 380 high angle
Volkswagen/Andrew Trahan

Inside, the GTI 380 pays homage to the history of GTI with a golf-ball “inspired” manual shift knob—present on past generations of GTI—and honeycomb accents. S and SE trims feature classic plaid cloth seats; leather seating surfaces come standard for the Autobahn trim and are optional on the SE trim.

2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI 380 interior seat pattern detail
Volkswagen/Andrew Trahan

As with the rest of the 2024 Golf GTI lineup, GTI 380 trims are powered by a turbocharged EA888 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. While this model is the last Golf GTI to be offered with a six-speed manual, the seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission will carry forward on future GTI models and on the 315-horse Golf R. The manual in the Golf R also has a year left until a facelifted car comes out later in 2024.

North America was the only region to get a manual option in the Golf R, and VW previously told Hagerty that getting a clutch pedal approved for this market was “a big fight.”

2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI 380 rear three quarter
Volkswagen/Andrew Trahan

Sales of the Mk8 GTI (launched for 2022) have been slightly down compared with the outgoing Mk7, though that’s more a problem of supply than demand, VW rep Mark Gillies says.

The 2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI 380 goes on sale in early Fall 2023, with a starting MSRP of $32,485 for the GTI 380 S, $37,285 for the GTI 380 SE, and $40,625 for the GTI 380 Autobahn. That doesn’t include shipping, which is $1150.




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    My dad had a DSG Golf R MK7 before he passed away last year and he said the DSG was better than the manual. He also hadn’t driven manual since the 90s

    I had the manual version of that car. The DSG was faster from 0-60 because of the limitations of a human operator controlling a clutch and gear shift, but manual enthusiasts prefer to be more engaged with their cars. In the end it’s a personal preference… those cars were/are all outstanding.

    With a take rate of 40% and they’re still getting rid of the manual? That’s sad and frustrating. If you want to make cars for people who love and enjoy cars, you need to put the features those people want into the cars or risk losing those customers forever.

    Also, why does anyone want big rims and super thin tires on a car meant to be enjoyed on the road? Yes, if you’re going to track or autocross a GTI you may want such things, but you’re probably also not going to run stock wheels and tires. Has VW driven on America’s potholes lately?

    In 48 years I’ve had 4 cars that shift themselves; a 1960 Rambler a 1972 Chevy Impala Custom Coupe, a 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco Police pursuit and now a 2023 Golf R with 7 speed DSG. Yup it’s faster, a little easier on fuel and it works as advertised. I really wanted to like it, I tried, believe me. It’s as exciting as an EV… The lack of engagement makes the experience of driving about as much fun a doing laundry.

    So I’m going to be trading it in on something, anything, as long as it has a stick. To be honest I’d be happier with almost anything else.

    Took my wife downtown and used valet parking. When i wanted my truck retrieved it took forever. Reason? They didn’t have anyone who could drive a stick shift at that time and had to call one. What is this world coming to? I love my stick shifts, even if they are slower. I want it in the gear I want it in when I want it in it. More fun to drive. Any hamburger can simply step on the gas pedal. However, in stop and go traffic, I’m jealous.

    “More a problem of supply than demand”….WHAT A JOKE!!! No VW it’s an issue of haptic controls, and screens for everything! GTI and Golf R drivers for the most part are enthusiasts, and we want physical knobs, buttons, and gauges! Also, I’m at an age where I don’t want to be stuck in traffic constantly pushing a clutch pedal, so I’ll stick with my DSG…oh and my 17 Sport will probably be my last VW, as I don’t want all the aforementioned crap, and certainly not an EV.

    Bye, Bye VW! Several Friends of Mine and I have been diehard loyalists. Between Electrification and now losing the manual transmission, You have just signed your death warrant. Instead of having a business model that makes sense using and promoting all forms of energy and propulsion, VW has dumped all their eggs into the corporate “woke to play/climate change” fanaticist basket. Don’t see we didn’t warn you. We enthusiasts and those of common sense will enjoy watching you go bankrupt in the coming years…fools…hook, line and sinker! (Mic dropped)

    Couldn’t find a manual GTI to test-drive in 2017 so tried the DSG. Tried to use the paddle shifter to downshift and the DSG said “no”! End of test drive; if I want to bounce off the rev-limiter, that’s my business. Waited several months for a 6-speed GTI to become available but worth the wait. Now my daily driver (decent ride despite 40-series tires), but I still enjoy my much-modded ’84 GTI Mk. I

    You nailed it when you added about the paddle shifters. Salesman told me ‘you’ll love them once you’re used to them’ because you’re still in the game and ‘everyone changes their mind after getting used to them ‘. Well I suppose I’d change my mind if I had my hand chopped off, I’d get used to it because I had no choice but to get used to it. I had a choice here, the paddle shifters in my Golf R? I hate them, they’re stupid, I feel like a child listening to a higher authority when I’m using them so I gave up and just accept “D” on the embarrassing shift ‘nubbin’ on the console. Oh I put it in the ‘Nurburgring Mode’ from time to time and it goes like all get-out but I am so bored with this car right now. It’s well put together, does everything right and I’ll admit I’ve grown to like the overly tech day panels; however, no stick shift means no fun to me.

    Yes, I’ve put a deposit on a 2024 Golf R with a stick. Seems a shame to trade in a 2023 Golf R 20th Anniversary with 2,500 miles on it but it’s about as exciting as operating a blender, a very powerful blender with many speed settings but a blender nevertheless. It feels like an appliance, not a car.

    MkI ,simple and fun. Loved the blue and red velour bolstered seats. Also had an Audi 5+5 similar
    concept. New tech is awesome, lease don’t buy

    I love my 19 GTI S manual.
    I’m disappointed that VW is not only losing the manual but going full electric. I also own a Mazda 3 hatch and Miata. Both manuals.
    For me, I prefer the driving engagement over an automatic.
    And I plan on driving manual until I no longer can.

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