The rumour mill’s been a churning, and this time it seems that the rumours might have some truth to them. According to various sources, including several dealer sources, Volkswagen South Africa is no longer bringing in the 169kW Golf GTI for sale in South Africa. Now I understand how this may seem incredibly unlikely; after all, the GTI and Golf R collectively comprise approximately 60% of all Golf sales in the country. South Africa is GTI mad, with the obsession spanning all walks of life – everyone wants a GTI.
So what gives? Well, the rumour mill has churned out some more information, and again it seems like there may be some truth to it. Volkswagen South Africa is allegedly pulling the standard 169kW Golf GTI from the market and plans to introduce in its place the 180kW Golf GTI Performance.
This makes sense; after all the Golf GTI is currently the lowest powered hot hatch in its segment, and with such love for the GTI brand in SA, it makes sense to offer the best Volkswagen has available in their garage. Some dealers and sales reps are already taking orders for the Golf GTI Performance, though officially on VW’s website and price lists, there is only the standard model GTI.
The Golf GTI Performance makes use of the same 2.0-litre TSI 4-cylinder engine as the standard GTI, however, in Performance trim, the figures have been turned up to 180kW and 370Nm (20Nm more than standard). The extra punch enables a 0-100km/h sprint of just 6.2 seconds, with the top speed limited to 250km/h. Other additions to warrant the ‘Performance’ badge include high performance brakes with red painted brake callipers and a front locking differential for improved handling.
While at this stage these are just rumours, we’ve reached out to Volkswagen South Africa for confirmation on the matter. If this is indeed true, it seems VW is gearing up for war with the Renault Megane RS by giving us the Golf GTI we really want.