The Volkswagen Golf GTI three-door derivative is on the cusp of an Australian comeback, to fill the void created by the discontinuation of the Scirocco.
Volkswagen Australia told us it was actively exploring the idea of bringing back the three-door hot hatch derivative after a five-year absence, potentially as a special edition.
Pictured: Axed Volkswagen Scirocco
Volkswagen’s local division axed the three-door Golf GTI in 2012, focusing on the better-selling five-door (which makes up around 15-20 per cent of all Golf sales here), supplemented by the Scirocco.
“There is always interest in expanding our GTI range. Let’s just say in terms of performance we’re always interested,” Volkswagen Australia spokesman Kurt McGuiness told us.
Nobody would expect the Golf GTI three-door to be anything more than a niche product, but as the Renault Sport Megane’s showed, there’s a market.
Volkswagen is currently rolling out the upgraded Golf ‘7.5’ models in Europe ahead of the Australian launch at the start of July this year.
The GTI gets a 7kW power bump to 169kW, matching the outgoing GTI Performance, which in turn now has 180kW and the familiar limited-slip front diff to tame push understeer.
The Mk7.5 Golf update brings improvements such as new front bumpers, improved infotainment – including the option of a 9.2-inch screen with gesture control and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display – and minor DSG tweaks.
Volkswagen has confirmed the regular five-door GTI and the hi-po 213kW Golf R AWD models will arrive mid-year, available with both DSG and six-speed manual gearboxes.
Look out for our 2017 Golf GTI review from the global launch soon.