Volkswagen’s high-performance turbo-diesel hatchback, the Golf GTD, goes on sale today in Germany. Yeah, we know it’s highly unlikely for the U.S., but we just have gush about it and show you some of these new photos. Plus, it reminds us, minus the eco-friendly powertrain, what we have coming in the 2010 Volkswagen GTI.
The new 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTD—essentially a diesel version of the sporty GTI—gets a new 168-horsepower version of the in-line four that makes 258 lb-ft of torque; that’s significantly more than the 140 hp and 236 lb-ft that currently goes into the Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen (and is due later this year in new versions of those cars plus the Golf). The GTD gets either a six-speed manual gearbox or VW’s excellent six-speed DSG gearbox
VW says the new GTD’s engine is stronger, more economical, and quieter than ever before. Yet it has performance that compares with the base 2.0T engine in the GTI; it can reach 62 mph (100 km/.h) in just 8.1 seconds with a top speed of 138 mph. The GTD achieves a surprising 44.4 mpg (U.S.) in the European cycle—roughly equivalent EPA highway figures—so with its 14.6-gallon fuel tank, that permits a range of more than 600 miles.
The GTD could go a long way toward erasing the stodgy image of VW diesels on these shores. Compared to the standard Golf, the GTD has a much more aggressive stance; it’s lowered by 15 millimeters and fitted with 17-inch ‘Seattle’ alloys. Like the upcoming GTI, it gets fog lamps, a horizontally striped chrome grille, smoked taillights, twin chrome tailpipes, and smoked taillights. Inside, the GTD gets black sport seats in the same style of the GTI but with a diamond pattern that’s light gray instead of red. The sportier three-spoke steering wheel, parking brake handle, and shift knob are all leather-trimmed, while the instrument panel gets “Black Stripe” (gloss black) accents.
As with the Volkswagen GTI, the 2010 VW GTD will get a host of additional interior trim details, such as chrome bezels and an upgraded headliner. Noteworthy features include automatic climate control, an upgraded sound system (we assume the awesome Dynaudio system we recently noticed in our short drive of the new Euro-spec Golf VI), heated windshield washer nozzles, front and rear ultrasonic parking sensors, and ESP with countersteer and braking assistant—in which the system will send a slight bit of torque through the electric steering assist to help regain control, or help optimize braking response. Seven airbags and a driver’s side kneebag will all be standard.