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Volkswagen discounts Golf GTI price by 10 percent but keeps Golf R orders closed


Swings and roundabouts for hot Golfs, with now-plentiful GTI offered with a big incentive, but slow R supply is preventing new orders from being placed

For the third quarter of 2023, Volkswagen Australia will waive on-road costs for buyers of its Golf GTI hot hatch by retailing the five-door at $55,490 driveaway – or nearly 10 percent less than the model’s regular circa-$60,400 all-in price.

Volkswagen says the numbers of Golf GTI examples landing in Australia is “significantly improving” from an effective trickle in recent months as the German brand’s supply of new cars returns to something resembling normalcy.

Volkswagen Golf GTI 2023-3
Healthy supply has seen the return of driveaway deals for the Golf GTI

The brand marked its annual Performance Day media track drive by announcing a pair of driveaway deals on its hallmark front-wheel drive GTI hot hatches, with the aforementioned $55,490 driveaway tag on the Golf paired with a $39,990 driveaway deal on the smaller and lighter Polo GTI.

Both vehicles use the same basic 2.0-litre ‘EA888’ turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine, but the Golf GTI runs a higher state of tune with 180kW of power and 370Nm available – sent to the front wheels through a seven-speed wet dual-clutch (DSG) automatic transmission.

Volkswagen Golf GTI 2023 and Polo GTI 2023
Both on offer: the $55,490-driveaway Golf GTI and $39,990-driveaway Polo GTI

The GTI is nestled between a three-strong ‘regular’ lineup of Golf models, all of which share a 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder engine with 110kW/250Nm, and the flagship Golf R, which has all-wheel drive and a newer-gen EA888 motor with 235kW/400Nm.

In Chasing Cars independent performance testing, the Golf GTI sprinted from 0-100km/h in 6.17 seconds, 0.4sec quicker than a Polo GTI with 147kW/320Nm. At 1477kg, the Golf GTI is 151kg heavier than its smaller sibling, but it uses a more sophisticated version of the MQB platform; it has independent rear suspension and a locking front differential.

Volkswagen Golf GTI 2023-2
The Golf GTI faces a smaller number of rivals due to a diminishing hot hatch segment

A special price is also being offered on the next step up in Volkswagen’s performance lineup: the T-Roc R performance SUV. Priced promotionally at $64,990 driveaway, the T-Roc R adds ground clearance and an all-wheel drive system while lifting outputs to 221kW/400Nm. The T-Roc R achieved a 0-100km/h in 4.87sec in our independent testing.

Volkswagen has refrained from adding a promotional driveaway deal to the Golf R ($68,990 plus on-road costs) as supply for the halo Golf remains thin. Instead, the brand announced it would cull the entire Golf wagon lineup, including a Chasing Cars favourite – the Golf R wagon ($71,990 plus on-road costs).

Volkswagen Golf GTI 2022 interior front
The interior of the Golf GTI can be optioned with heated and cooled leather seats

Chasing Cars understands that any Australian who ordered a Golf R wagon before Volkswagen officially paused Golf R sales in December 2022 will still receive their car, but that deposits placed after headquarters officially paused orders are not guaranteed.

Golf R hatch production and supply is showing signs of a recovery, with Volkswagen Australia confirming that the German factory was now building around 100 Golf Rs per month for Australian customers – with a hope (but not a promise) of clearing the existing Golf R backlog by Christmas 2023. 

Volkswagen Golf R wagon 2022 cruise
The cult-hit Golf R wagon was been discontinued, while Golf R hatch orders remain paused

It’s a fair expectation that once the current backlog is brought under control, Volkswagen Australia will reopen local Golf R orders.

In the meantime, the company will retail 50 examples of the limited-edition Golf R 20 Years with Akrapovic exhaust on 13 July at a price of $77,590 before on-road costs.