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NewsVolkswagen Golf Set to Go Fully Automatic in 2024, Bidding Farewell to...

Volkswagen Golf Set to Go Fully Automatic in 2024, Bidding Farewell to Manual GTI after Nearly 50 Years

Emissions regulations drive major shift as iconic Golf GTI approaches its 50th anniversary


– The Volkswagen Golf line-up, including the GTI model, is poised to go completely automatic in 2024 due to Euro 7 emissions regulations.

– How long before this takes place in North America?


Volkswagen‘s European Golf line-up is slated to become exclusively automatic in 2024, contingent upon the approval of the forthcoming Euro 7 emissions regulations in their existing form. This tragic but unavoidable development will be part of an anticipated mid-life update for the Golf’s eighth-generation line-up, impacting even the famed Golf GTI as it nears its half-century mark in 2025.

2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition | Photo: Volkswagen

This is catastrophic news for European driving enthusiasts and a potential sign of things to come for North American GTI and Golf R fans. As we all know, Volkswagen pulled the Golf from its lineup in the recent past but were generous enough to leave us the GTI and Golf R. Amusingly, the latter is available with a manual gearbox here but not oversees. But that may all change far sooner than we’d like – cause we’d like it to never change…

Volkswagen will have to fall in line with several other automakers shifting away from manual gearboxes to curb emissions, cater to evolving consumer demand, and simplify their line-ups.

Volkswagen’s technical development head, Kai Grünitz, according to Autocar, confirmed this future direction for the brand, stating that the upcoming Golf generation will not feature a manual gearshift variant. Grünitz cited emissions compliance as the primary motivator for this shift, though it’s understood that the change hasn’t yet received official confirmation, pending potential amendments to the Euro 7 legislation before its ratification.

Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R Accessories | Photo: Volkswagen

Emissions data from Volkswagen reveal that the manual Golf GTI emits marginally more CO2 compared to the automatic model, 162g/km versus 160g/km, respectively. Though the difference is small, it bears significant consequences considering the stringent manufacturer fleet emissions quotas.

One of the impacts reported by the source story is that the removal of the manual transmission will inevitably increase the GTI’s base price as well as every other Golf. In Canada, a DSG-only GTI will see its base price shoot up to $34,000 to $35,000 while the R will cross the $50,000 mark possibly close in on $51,000. Incidentally, the DSG is a $1,400 option for both cars. But we think this will be an opportunity for VW to increase prices ever so slightly in the process.

Should the 6M go bye-bye in Europe, North American-bound cars will probably lose the three-pedal transmission though as there’s a roughly two-year offset in updates and generations between the continents, we could be given an equivalent grace period. Fingers crossed.

By the way, the 6M/DSG take rate looks like 40/60 in Canada.

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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