Volkswagen Golf GTD

Geneva, Switzerland: neutral ground to a politician, battleground to European performance carmakers. Each year’s Geneva Motor Show sees some of the world’s most exciting new vehicles make their debut and vie for attention, and 2013 is no exception. Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW and Alfa Romeo will all debut new models this March, and alongside their gas guzzling heavyweights will be Volkswagen’s brand new 7 generation GTD. What the hell’s a GTD, you ask? Keep reading, cause it just might be your next car.

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As I was saying, what the hell’s a GTD?

A GTD, simply speaking, is a GTI with a diesel engine. The 2.0L TSI gasoline engine of the regular GTI is swapped out in favour of the award-winning 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel engine, but with an additional kick in the pants. The GTD’s TDI mill churns out an additional 44 horsepower and 48 foot pounds of torque for a total of 184 hp and 284 (!) lb-ft, respectively. The jury’s still out on whether “D” stands for “Diesel” or “Damn, that’s one spicy meatball.”

What does the GTD offer that the GTI doesn’t?

The GTI is a fuel efficient car, particularly by performance car standards. But the GTD… Jeez. 4.6 L/100 km, or, for our American friends, 56 mpg. That’s almost 1200 km per tank. In other words, a drive to the moon will only have you stopping 297 times to fill up. Perhaps of more relevance to the average driver, this means only 13 to 15 fill ups a year. In addition to the engine swap, the GTD will also get a few cosmetic features of its own, including rims, shift knob, instrument cluster and exhaust pipes.

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What’ll it do?

The GTD will run to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds and top out at 230 km/h (143 mph). And it’s got the GTI’s sport tuned suspension to help negotiate those backroad twisties.

What are some of the features?

LED lighting (including rear license plate illumination), sport seats, VW’s latest touchscreen infotainment system, side skirts, rear spoiler, rear diffuser, “Climatronic” automatic dual zone climate control… The list is long indeed. 3- and 5-door body styles, as well as 6 speed manual and 6 speed DSG gearboxes should be available, but the details are still a bit foggy.

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So, now that I’m sufficiently excited, can I expect the GTD to make its way to Canada?

Good question. Given the popularity of the 6 generation GTI and TDI, there is a good chance a 7 generation GTD would do very well on these shores. This is a fact not lost on VW Canada, one that will hopefully tip them in favour of bringing it here. For the moment, they’re taking a good hard look at it. We suggest you do what we’re doing and keep your fingers firmly crossed. And stay tuned to this page, as we’ll update you as soon as we know anything.

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