If you’ve been on the VW configurator lately, you might have had a little surprise: the standard GTI is nowhere to be seen. Sure, you can still buy the 241bhp GTI Performance with its fancy locking diff and bigger brakes, but the 228bhp baby of the range? It’s vanished.
It turns out this isn’t a mistake. Speaking to Car Throttle, a VW UK representative confirmed that the car has sold out for the 2018 model year in both manual and DSG automatic formats, and would not confirm whether or not the car will be returning next year.
It certainly sounds to us like the ‘GTI 230’ won’t be coming back before the Mk7 Golf is retired, which is something that’s happening sooner than you might think - the Mk8 should arrive at some point in 2019.
As for why VW has seemingly ditched the 230, that’s open to speculation. The Polo GTI is much closer to the standard Golf GTI than it has been before, being having grown in size and become more powerful, so that could be a factor behind the decision. We doubt it’s related to the new WLTP restrictions - which we’ve seen kill off numerous cars recently - since the Performance is remaining on sale.
Whatever the reason, we won’t be shedding a tear over the car’s departure. The Performance has always been the version we recommend (although it’s worth pointing out it was outsold by the entry-level car), and should VW do the inevitable and bring the TCR into the world in Production form, the GTI range will be looking very healthy, and nicely simple.