The Volkswagen Golf Mk8.5 GTI will come exclusively in DSG flavor, and there's a Red Bull-branded hypercar on the horizon.
This is AM Drive, Motor1's daily look at the news you need before you get in your car.
Volkswagen Golf GTI Facelift Loses Manual Gearbox
The writing had been on the wall for the manual Golf GTI ever since VW introduced the GTI 380 last August. When the special-edition hot hatch launched, the Germans said 2024 would be the last year for the R with a stick shift. Despite rumors stating the clutch pedal would survive with the mid-cycle facelift, the sad truth is the do-it-yourself 'box is no more.
Speaking with Automotive News Europe at 2024 CES in Las Vegas, VW development chief Kai Grünitz explained why you won't be able to row your own gears in the hot Golfs anymore. The main reason has to do with emissions regulations. Even though the Euro 7 legislation has been relaxed since the initial proposal, work on the car's mid-cycle update commenced years ago when the EU7 standard was considerably harsher.
When we started with the development, there was no clear understanding when Euro 7 rules would be released. At some point, you have to start your development. Otherwise, you won't hit the timeline."
In addition, the DSG-equipped Golf has been considerably more popular during the first half of the eighth-generation model’s life cycle. Even in the GTI version, only five percent of global customers got the six-speed transmission while the other 95 percent opted for the dual-clutch automatic. The fact that half of GTI buyers in the United States got the manual last year wasn't enough to save it.
The six-speed manual gearbox has been also available in Europe on lesser versions of the Golf positioned below the GTI and R performance models. It remains to be seen whether that will continue to be the case with the forthcoming update debuting soon, following its preview at 2024 CES. Should it be gone, it won't be missed in the mundane trim levels but enthusiasts are sad to see the clutch pedal is being removed from the GTI and R.
Logic tells us that by going DSG-only, the Golf GTI and R facelift will have a higher starting price.
Red Bull RB17 Hypercar To Finally Debut In 2024
It's been nearly two years since Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT) teased the RB17 hypercar. We'll finally get to see it in 2024, according to Christian Horner. In an interview with Sky Sports, RBAT's CEO said the "track sportscar" designed by Adrian Newey – who also penned the Aston Martin Valkyrie – is going to debut later this year.
The plan is to make only 50 units at a rate of 15 cars annually, beginning next year. The RB17 is estimated to cost £5 million plus taxes, so about $6.36M at current exchange rates. Despite the exorbitant asking price, most of them have already been sold. Motivation is expected to come from a twin-turbo V8 hybrid delivering a combined output of over 1,100 hp.
In development from late 2020, the track-only RB17 will boast a carbon-composite tub and has been engineered to support a future conversion that would make it road legal. The engineering team is targeting a remarkably low curb weight of less than 2,000 pounds without a driver.