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### Enhanced Golf GTI Unveiled with 262 HP, Upgraded Infotainment; Manual Gearbox Omitted

2025 VW Golf GTI Drops Manual But Gains More Muscle And AI Smarts

Over the last fifty years, the Volkswagen Golf GTI has undergone numerous changes, with one constant feature being the availability of a manual transmission. However, in the upcoming 2024 update (or 2025MY for North America), Volkswagen has made the decision to bid farewell to the traditional stick shift. Nevertheless, to soften this blow, they have increased the power output of the vehicle.

Today, Volkswagen unveiled the slightly refreshed Mk8.5 Golf, showcasing the latest iteration of the GTI model. While some enthusiasts may be disappointed by the exclusive offering of a seven-speed DSG gearbox, there are other enhancements to anticipate.

One significant improvement is the increase in power. While the Mk8 Golf GTI provided 241 hp (180 kW/245 PS) to drivers, the updated Mk8.5 will deliver 261 hp (195 kW/265 PS) in Europe, which is sure to satisfy enthusiasts.

Volkswagen has not disclosed the power output for the GTI in the United States, set to debut in early 2025. Information regarding the Europe-only Golf GTI Clubsport model, with higher performance, has also not been shared yet. Details about this model, along with the Golf R (for the U.S.) and the Golf R Variant (not available in the U.S.), will be revealed in the latter part of 2024.

While the power increase is undoubtedly exciting for potential buyers, current owners will likely appreciate the interior updates in the GTI. Similar to the rest of the lineup, the vehicle features an upgraded 10.2-inch infotainment system with direct access to air conditioning and seat heating controls. Additionally, it will benefit from VW’s IDA AI system, powered by ChatGPT, enabling drivers to adjust air-conditioning and navigation settings using natural language commands.

Volkswagen mentions that the GTI will be equipped with premium sports seats featuring a classic check pattern and optional leather upholstery. The gasoline model will also receive red contrast stitching and a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel.

Other enhancements in the updated Golf GTI include a standard aluminum surround for the shift lever, 30-color ambient lighting, a three-zone climate control system, a high-quality infotainment setup, and optional genuine carbon fiber interior accents.

Regarding exterior updates, the changes on the GTI are subtle yet generally positive. The head and taillights have been refreshed, along with the lower grille that now boasts a straighter top line. A GTI badge is now positioned under the side mirrors, and the hash mark in front of the door has been removed. Additionally, European customers will have the option of an illuminated front badge for the first time.

Andreas Mindt, VW’s head of design, comments, “The latest Golf exudes absolute clarity and a level of self-confidence that breaks down automotive class barriers. It will be our starting point for 2024 and the source of inspiration for us when developing the design of the Golf of tomorrow.”

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Last modified: January 24, 2024
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