The new Golf lineup has been growing by leaps and bounds: At the end of 2008, the sixth generation of the bestseller was launched in Europe and shortly after the new Golf Plus appeared. Then, the current Golf GTI vaulted to center stage, closely followed by the new Golf Wagon. And now the lineup continues: with the new Golf GTD. Its 170hp makes it the highest-performance production Golf with a diesel engine today. The code letters GTD have a magical effect on diesel drivers and continue a long tradition: 27 years ago the first GTD debuted and revolutionized the diesel market with its turbocharged diesel engine; for the first time, a diesel was not only economical but exceedingly sporty, too. The GTD paved the way for the worldwide breakthrough of the TDI - the direct-injection high-tech diesel of the Volkswagen Group.
The new Golf GTD is powered by a highly advanced common-rail TDI engine, which makes it stronger (260 lb/ft), more economical, cleaner and quieter than ever before. The GTD is also sportier: 8.1 seconds to 62mph and a 140mph top speed prove it.
The Golf GTD speaks to diesel fans who value in dynamic performance. That is why the GTD shows such a clear affinity to the Golf GTI by also offering the performance of far more expensive cars. In fact, the Golf GTD has phenomenal fuel economy and a range of approximately 621 miles (with a 12 gallon fuel tank).
The car's technical ingredients are highly advanced. In practically any situation, the 16v four-cylinder engine offers the power of an engine with six cylinders. Just as revolutionary is the six-speed DSG transmission from Volkswagen: Like the Golf GTI, the Golf GTD also has the option of a dual-clutch transmission in place of the standard six-speed manual.
The car is lowered by 15mm, it has 17" "Seattle"wheels and 225-section tires, again repeating the parallels with the GTI in terms of its styling and features. Consider the front end, for example: Among the hallmarks of the GTD and GTI are their bumper designs, with front foglights in a vertical layout. Their headlights and radiator grilles share the same construction as well. In the case of the GTD, the horizontal stripes in the radiator grille - typical of the GTI - are styled in chrome. At the rear, the turbo-diesel also has a different diffuser, and the diesel Golf can be recognized by the twin chrome tailpipes. The tail lights are smoked on both Golf versions.
The GTD's interior follows Volkswagen's GT philosophy, which means the sport seats are the same ones used in the GTI. In contrast to the GTI, the black seats in the GTD are complemented by a light grey diamond stripe pattern instead of red. Another highlight is the three-spoke leather sport steering wheel. And, as on the steering wheel, the parking brake grip and gearshift surround are finished in leather. The instrument and door trim areas are treated with "Black Stripe" gloss-black accents.
Furthermore, the Golf GTD features include details such as chrome bezels for various switches, a black head-liner and pillar trim, automatic climate control, multi-function display "Plus", center armrests and the RCD 210 radio system. Standard features also include lowering of the passenger's side mirror when backing up, heated windshield washer nozzles, headlight cleaning system, "ParkPilot" (with sensors in the front and rear bumpers), ESP with countersteer assist and braking assistant, as well as seven airbags, including a knee airbag on the driver's side. Although GTD models haven't previously been imported to the US, we understand this latest model is under consideration following the successful launch of the Jetta TDI and Jetta Wagon TDI. With VW of America's motorsport involvement in the TDI Cup racing series, the manufacturer is trying to present diesel-powered cars as sporty, so the Golf GTD would fit that criteria if the decision is made to bring it to North America in the future.