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Why a more powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI isn’t coming to Australia

Sportier styling could be coming to the Volkswagen Golf GTI in Australia, but don’t hold your breath for more power.

Volkswagen product manager for passenger vehicles, Todd Ford, has confirmed the 180kW GTI currently sold in Australia won’t be joined by the 221kW Clubsport offered in Europe.

The GTI Clubsport 45, which features the same engine tune, also remains off the table.

  • Why a more powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI isn't coming to Australia GTI Clubsport
  • Why a more powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI isn't coming to Australia GTI 180kW

Volkswagen knows Australian buyers would lap them up, but says the challenge of homologating another model for our market is too great at the moment.

Volkswagen has “no current plans” to bring them Down Under, “as much as it upsets me and lots of passionate, enthusiastic GTI customers”, Mr Ford told CarExpert.

Mr Ford says Volkswagen is “fairly restricted” when it comes to bringing engine variations to Australia, which is also why the GTI is not offered with a manual locally.

Although more power is off the table, Volkswagen hasn’t ruled out versions of the GTI with “styling upgrades” for Australia.

  • Why a more powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI isn't coming to Australia Cupra Leon
  • Why a more powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI isn't coming to Australia Cupra Leon

Volkswagen offered a range of special editions based on the Mk7 and Mk7.5 GTI in Australia, from the bargain Golf GTI Original to the more powerful Golf GTI 40 Years.

Although the GTI Clubsport isn’t coming Down Under, Cupra offers something for buyers who like the formula.

The Spanish brand is part of the Volkswagen Group, and in the Leon VZx combines a 221kW turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with front-wheel drive in a Golf-sized hatchback body.

Priced at $60,990 before on-road costs, it’s actually priced directly in line with a 180kW Golf GTI with all its options packages fitted.

  • Why a more powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI isn't coming to Australia

Volkswagen has also confirmed the Golf R 20 Years, with its 245kW engine and all-wheel drive will come Down Under later in 2022.

It’s not a special edition – production will last 12 months, to celebrate the debut of the Volkswagen R badge two decades ago – but it brings a raft of special additions to the Golf R package, including an Akrapovic exhaust.

Mr Ford says the titanium exhaust system, which is a factory option in Europe, was deemed too expensive to bring to Australia.

  • Why a more powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI isn't coming to Australia
  • Why a more powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI isn't coming to Australia