Standard features include tartan seat trim, 18-inch 'Sevilla' black alloy wheels with red pinstriping, 'Original' badging, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (but no factory navigation), along with city-speed autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection.
Under the bonnet is the same 169kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol as the regular GTI.
The removal of certain luxury items and the rear doors means the GTI Original is some $4500 cheaper than the manual GTI five-door, though you only have two colour options - Pure White or Tornado Red.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard, though a six-speed DSG with paddle shifters can be had for $39,990 before ORCs.
For those wanting a little more oomph, there's the Golf R Grid, which kicks off from $47,490 for the manual-equipped five-door hatch.
The Grid forgoes the fancy 12.3-inch Active Info Display and leather seat trim that's standard on the Golf R, though it still gets Alcantara-trimmed sports seats, a (smaller) 8.0-inch infotainment system with navigation and smartphone mirroring, 19-inch alloy wheels, and the same 213kW/380Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine as the more expensive version.
Volkswagen is offering the Golf R Grid in two versions: five-door hatch and wagon (above). The hatch is available with both a six-speed manual and a seven-speed wet-clutch DSG ($49,990), while the wagon is DSG-only ($51,990).
With the introduction of the Golf GTI Original and Golf R Grid, the German small car's performance line-up now stands at six trim levels and 13 variants in total - including three body styles.
"“Extraordinary claims are being made for supposed rivals that are not yet on sale. While any skunkworks can turn out a track day special, the expertise and experience required to engineer a GTI or an R – cars that also excel in the real world - is rather more hard won," said Michael Bartsch, Volkswagen Group Australia's managing director - clearly taking a shot at several upcoming rivals like the Hyundai i30 N and Renault Megane RS.
"When you’ve owned a GTI or an R, it’s difficult to settle for anything less.”
Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R pricing
- GTI Original (3dr Hatch) - $37,490/$39,990 (6MT/6DSG)
- GTI (5dr Hatch) - $41,990/$44,490 (6MT/6DSG)
- GTI Performance Edition 1 (3dr Hatch) - $47,990 (7DSG)
- R Grid (5dr Hatch) - $47,490/$49,990 (6MT/7DSG)
- R Grid (Wagon) - $51,990 (7DSG)
- R (5dr Hatch) - $53,490/$55,990 (6MT/7DSG)
- R (Wagon) - $57,990 (7DSG)
- R Wolfsburg (5dr Hatch) - $57,990 (7DSG)
- R Wolfsburg (Wagon) - $59,990 (7DSG)
All prices exclude on-road costs