When the latest version of the Volkswagen Polo GTI launched in South Africa midway through 2018, it arrived with just a single transmission: a six-speed DSG arrangement. Now, however, VW in Germany has quietly added the option of a manual gearbox with the same number of cogs.

The folks over at AutoEvolution spotted the addition to VW Germany’s online configurator, pointing out at the stick-shift derivative is some €1 575 (that’s about R25 000) cheaper than its automatic sibling.

Interestingly, the manual model is a little less efficient than the DSG variant, with VW claiming a combined consumption figure of 6,3 L/100 km for the former (as opposed to 6,1 L/100 km for the latter).

Specified with a manual transmission, the 2,0-litre turbocharged petrol engine still sends 147 kW and 320 N.m to the front axle. Volkswagen has yet to reveal whether the 0-100 km/h time and top speed are any different to those of the DSG-equipped model (which completes the obligatory sprint in a claimed 6,7 seconds and runs out of puff at 237 km/h).

So, will we see the manual model in South Africa (where the Polo GTI is incidentally also built)? Well, VW SA told us “there are no plans to offer the manual Polo GTI in SA”, confirming earlier comments made at the launch suggesting a lack of local demand for a stick-shift derivative would render its arrival here unlikely.