Golf 8 GTI Manual Bids Farewell With Special Edition
The 8 GTI was a car that raised a few eyebrows upon its launch. It's a slightly less involving hot-hatch compared to its predecessors, with its safety-focused technology removing an element of engagement when behind the wheel. Overseas, the GTI now comes with an optional 6-speed manual, which could have been the answer to winning SA over in the first place.
VW will release a special edition of the Golf GTI in 2024, called the 380, to pay tribute to the GTI's legacy. The 380 draws inspiration from its predecessor, the 2002 Mk 3 GTI 337. As a Mk 8 GTI, the name is derived from the internal model code, resulting in the name 380.
The 380 comes with a variety of aesthetic extras; the most noticeable are its gloss black roof and door mirrors and the addition of the Golf 8 R's 20th anniversary 18-inch wheels. This improves the aggressive look of the GTI, which gives the otherwise simplistically styled hot hatch that much more attitude. The 380 will also come in an exclusive graphite grey metallic colour. Another touch that evokes nostalgia is the golf ball-inspired gear shift knob.
The 2024 GTI 380 will continue to make use of its 4-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, laying down 180kW and 370Nm. I can imagine that the addition of the 6-speed box will greatly increase driver engagement and would have scored a few more points in our books, but unfortunately, with the manual going out the door, I guess we will never know.
The fact that we never received the manual Golf GTI in the first place leads me to believe that we won't be receiving any of the 380 models.