I concluded “just get it with a stick” after driving a 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI from Boston to Maine and back earlier in 2023. Act fast if you plan to follow my advice: The six-speed stick will disappear after 2024, and it’s getting sent off with a special-edition model called GTI 380.
Designed exclusively for the North American market, the bundle comes standard on every GTI ordered with three pedals during the 2024 model year. It includes the DCC adaptive damping system, 19-inch alloy wheels, plus gloss black paint on the roof panel and on the door mirror caps. Buyers can choose from six existing colors and an additional hue called Graphite Gray Metallic that’s exclusive to the GTI 380.
Inside, we’re told that the GTI 380 receives a golfball-shaped shift knob as a tribute to past generations of the model, though this part isn’t shown in Volkswagen’s images. The S and SE trim levels ship with Scalepaper Plaid cloth upholstery, which is another heritage-laced feature, while the Autobahn comes standard with leather. The 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and its numerous display options remain.
What’s the deal with 380? I’m sorry, power-hungry enthusiasts, but that number doesn’t denote the horsepower output. It comes from the internal code that Volkswagen assigned the eighth-generation Golf. The GTI 380 uses the same turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that has powered the regular-production model since its launch. The engine sends 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels.
The 2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI 380 will go on sale this fall. Pricing starts at $32,485 for the entry-level S model. The mid-range SE costs $37,285, while the range-topping Autobahn will set you back by $40,625. Note that these figures exclude the destination charge. After that, the GTI will go automatic-only for the first time in its decades-long history. Volkswagen adds that the 315-horsepower Golf R will lose its six-speed stick after the 2024 model year as well, though it hasn’t announced plans to send off the transmission with a special edition model.
The GTI is about the last model we would have expected to lose the stick shift, and VW has expressed pride in a relatively high take rate for the manual in the past. So we’ve asked the automaker to explain. We’ll update this post if we hear back.