HOT Golf fans rejoice. Volkswagen’s strictly limited GTI Performance Edition 1 that arrives next month will be followed by a series of hi-po Golf variants that borrow its 180kW engine and trick differential.
Just 150 examples of the pumped-up three door GTI Edition 1 will be coming to Australia, headlining the arrival of the Golf 7.5 performance fleet, which includes the garden variety GTI and all-paw R, but a steady stream of the hi-po two wheel drive cars will continue until the Golf 8 touches down in 2020.
Volkswagen corporate communications manager Paul Pottinger told Wheels that the company has plans to continue introducing more exclusive GTI specials from next year until the next-generation launches in about four years.
“That’s going to be a series of special editions over the remaining 7.5 lifecycle until we get to Mk8,” he said. “Next year, most definitely.”
“The subsequent performance editions will all be 180kW with the LSD. It’s designed to sit between GTI and R.”
With a beefier power unit up its sleeve, future special edition Golf GTIs would pack the same punch as the Performance Edition 1, which improves on the standard GTI outputs by 11kW and 20Nm.
The strictly limited version also has a more advanced limited slip differential to improve front-drive traction and sharpen overall dynamics and marks the return of the classic three-door Golf bodystyle.
Pottinger did not offer specific details or names, but said a five-door version with the same performance credentials as the Edition 1 was highly likely to preview the expanding range, but hopeful customers would have to wait for confirmation.
Avid GTI fans will remember the 40 Years special that rolled into showrooms last year to celebrate four decades of the iconic hatchback and Pottinger said new versions would bring a similar appeal and features.
That car brought 19-inch wheels, a fatter bodykit with extra aero, a number of interior modifications and an overboost function that topped-up power output to a whopping 213kW for 10 seconds.
Beyond the GTI, a limited edition version of the more potent Golf R, which adds four-wheel drive and a 213kW/380Nm punch in standard form is also expected.
“The 40 years line. That sort of thing,” said Pottinger. “There’s a couple of plans for later next year but we’re also planning a lot around [Golf] R.”
It is already known that the Golf R wagon will graduate from being a limited-run variant to a permanent addition in the 7.5 update as well as the return of the Wolfsburg edition, and limited variants of the Golf flagship could include even more power wrung from the 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder.
The decision to introduce more high-performance versions has been driven by Australia’s demand for both driver-focused vehicles including the Golf GTI as well as cars with an added level of exclusivity. As a performance variant, the GTI and R account for a large proportion of overall Golf sales, said Pottinger.
“Sometimes as much as 20 percent of the overall range,” he said. “It’s proportionally one of the world’s biggest GTI markets. In some months [Golf] Rs have outsold GTI.
“We will get hold of any and every iteration of GTI and R that we can. That bespoke level seems to appeal to the GTI fraternity.”