Australian pricing and specifications for the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Original and Golf R Grid have been released this week ahead of their arrival in January next year.
Both variants significantly undercut the current entry points to the Golf GTI and Golf R ranges, providing Aussie buyers with a cheaper way into a performance Golf while also offering a simpler package for enthusiasts.
Golf GTI Original
Kicking off at $37,490 plus on-road costs, the three-door-only GTI Original is $4500 cheaper than the current GTI five-door manual, and is more affordable than the 'Mark V' three-door GTI from a decade ago ($38,490), while offering enthusiasts a pared-back version of the iconic Volkswagen hot hatch.
It's only available in two colours; Pure White or Tornado Red, and can be ordered in either six-speed manual or six-speed DSG guise.
Despite the lower entry point, the GTI Original still has a healthy amount of standard equipment, including front assist with city-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and pedestrian protection, 18-inch 'Sevilla' black alloy wheels with red pinstriping, 'Original' badging, and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - though satellite navigation has been deleted.
There's also dual-zone climate control with Air Care filtration, LED head, fog- and tail-lights, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, and a driver fatigue monitor.
Unlike the standard GTI variant offered locally, the GTI Original is only offered with one option, the Driver Assistance package ($1600), which adds adaptive cruise control, lane assist, park assist, along with blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
Power comes from the same 169kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo four as the regular GTI, sending drive to the front wheels via a six-speed manual as standard or an optional six-speed DSG ($39,990).
Golf R Grid
Meanwhile, fans of the all-wheel drive Golf R now have the choice of the Grid, which drops the entry price to $47,490 before ORCs in manual five-door hatch form - $5500 less than the regular R variant.
There's a little more variety for the Golf R Grid, offering both five-door hatch and wagon body styles, along with a wider range of colour options.
Standard kit includes 19-inch 'Spielberg' alloy wheels, adaptive chassis control, gloss black side mirrors, an 8.0-inch navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights with dynamic cornering lights, 'Race' sport cloth and Alcantara seat upholstery, keyless entry and start, privacy glass, premium LED tail-lights with dynamic indicators, along with black roof rails and a luggage partition net for the wagon.
There are six colour options available; Pure White, Tornado Red, White Silver metallic, Lapiz Blue metallic, Indium Grey metallic, and Deep Black Pearl. Additionally, the Driver Assistance pack is offered for $1300, though it doesn't include the park assist function seen in other Golf models. A panoramic sunroof ($1900) is also optional.
Power comes from the same 213kW/380Nm 2.0-litre turbo as the Golf R, sending drive to the company's 4Motion all-wheel drive system via a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission ($49,990). The wagon, unlike the hatch, is DSG only ($51,990).
Volkswagen has also confirmed pricing for the standard Golf R wagon, which also arrives in January, starting at $57,490 plus ORCs. Specification mirrors that of the standard R hatch, though adding silver roof rails, and it's DSG only.
2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI/R pricing
GTI Original (3 door) - $37,490/$39,990 (man/DSG)
GTI (5 door) - $41,490/$43,990 (man/DSG)
GTI Performance Edition 1 (3 door) - $47,990 (DSG)
R Grid Hatch - $47,490/$49,990 (man/DSG)
R Grid Wagon - $51,990 (DSG)
R Hatch - $52,990/$55,490 (man/DSG)
R Wagon - $57,490 (DSG)
R Wolfsburg Hatch - $57,990 (DSG)
R Wolfsburg Wagon - $59,990
All prices exclude on-road costs