Europe’s stricter testing regime has paid unexpected dividends for Aussie drivers with news the new Golf GTI gets a more powerful engine.
The current 169kW engine wil be replaced by the 180kW unit from the current Performance Edition as standard going forward.
Available for order next month, ahead of October delivery, the MY19 GTI comes standard with equipment previously reserved for Performance Editions.
This includes the 180kW/370Nm tune of the 2.0-litre turbo, 7-speed wet-clutch DSG, electro-mechanical front differential lock and the ventilated front and rear disc brake package from the Golf R.
While some three door models remain, MY19 GTI will be available only in five-door configuration.
Volkswagen Australia’s Ben Wilks said that the Mark 7/7.5 Golf Performance Range “continues to evolve six years into its life cycle”.
“Volkswagen has the unique ability to adapt and upgrade in this way, as opposed to carmakers that seek to emulate the GTI paradigm,” he said.
“Change brought about by the advent of Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) in Europe is one of the major challenges confronting European brands in this market, but we were able to take advantage of this situation to improve the best-selling car of its type.
The WLTP replaces the previous New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test procedure for assessing fuel consumption and harmful engine emissions.
Although an improvement over the NEDC, the WLTC cycles have been criticised for still being unrealistically slow.
“Such has been the demand for Performance Editions that making its specification standard is a logical progression, especially in terms of DSG, a transmission others are either trying to copy or cannot,” Wilks said.
“This GTI embodies what customers want.”
Mr Wilks said an announcement about the GTI TCR, unveiled at this month’s Worthersee festival, will be made next month.