First Look: 2014 Volkswagen Golf GTD

The new 2014 Volkswagen Golf GTD will make its official debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March. Although this is far from the first Golf GTD model, it is the first that actually has a fighting chance of actually being sold in North America.

Since its inception in 1982, the recipe for the Golf GTD has been rather simple. Take one Golf GTI, replace its gasoline engine with a diesel, swap the "I" in the nameplate with a "D," and leave most -- if not all -- of the GTI-specific hardware intact. The result is a sporty-looking and tossable hatchback that drinks less fuel than its GTI cousin.

With the new seventh-generation Golf platform, that basic formula (and end result) remains unchanged. The Golf GTD is a virtual twin to the GTI concept Volkswagen showed last September at the Paris motor show. The GTD gets the GTI's lower front fascia and finger-like fog lamp louvers along with its grille insert, although the GTI's hallmark red grille molding isn't carried over. GTI-esque side skirts, rear diffuser, roof spoiler, and dual exhaust tips are also part of the Golf GTD makeover, as are smoked LED taillamps and 17-inch aluminum wheels.

The interior also mimics the GTI: sport seats with Tartan plaid inserts are standard, as are a black headliner, piano black dash and door trim, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and stainless steel foot pedals. Standard equipment on European-spec Golf GTD models also includes a unique shift knob, white ambient lighting, automatic climate controls, a park assist system, and a touchscreen infotainment system.

Like the GTI, the Golf GTD is a front-wheel-drive vehicle and offers a standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic -- but that's where the driveline similarities end. While the GTI burns gasoline in a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the Golf GTD uses VW's next-generation 2.0-liter TDI turbo-diesel I-4. Known within VW as the EA288, the engine is also slated to appear in the next-gen Golf TDI, but with a little less power. In stock form, the EA288 cranks out 148 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque. In the GTD, however, VW escalates output to 184 hp at 3500-4000 rpm and 280 lb-ft at 1750 rpm. It still trails the GTI, which is rated at 217 hp (227 hp with an optional performance package), but trumps the GTI's torque by roughly 20 lb-ft. Better yet, VW says the GTD can blast from 0 to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds, which is only a second slower than a GTI with the performance package.

What the Golf GTD sacrifices in sheer performance it makes up for in efficiency. VW says the GTD is rated at 56 mpg combined on the European test cycle, whereas the GTI is expected to return just under 40 mpg. Further, carbon dioxide emissions are whittled to 109 grams per kilometer, which undercuts the GTI's 140 g/km rating.

VW says the Golf GTD should hit European showrooms in June. What about North America? Last year, VWoA executives told us they'd love to bring the GTD over once the seventh-generation Golf launched here, but the automaker tells us they're still investigating that possibility and are far from a final decision. Should the Golf GTD gain a green light for our market, expect it to arrive after the new Golf lands in North America in the spring of 2014.

interior +exterior= fanatabuluos!
The Golf's a modern masterpiece. It does so many things so well that it nearly renders more costly cars superfluous. VW has really worked it right. My TDI is too fast. In a GTD, I'd become a monster. And inside my TDI, these enormous SUVs—with only a driver aboard—look completely ridiculous.  If the people of the US really want to reduce consumption, cars like the Golf diesels are the way to do it, without sacrifice (unless you have to have a big dumb clumsy oxcart).
Bring it!   My brother and my nephews all drive TDI's of various recent years,   all 3 are frothing at the bit for GTD's  .. to bad VW doesn't stick the V6 TDI in a Golf....... I will stick with my KW T680 and Cummins ISX.... for now though
Orlando J.
Another vote for bringing the GTD to the U.S., please. We love our TDI Sportwagen, and few more ponies (and lb ft) in a tighter, quicker package will round out the garage nicely. It's hard to settle for less than 42 mpg / 500+ mile range once you've driven these new diesels.
yes, please, please, please! ... i have always been disturbed by the disparity between EU and USA in terms of diesel availability (as of 2007, about 50% of all new car sales in Europe are diesel) ... if we could increase the no. of diesels on the road, that would greatly lower the disparity in fuel price between gas & diesel as well ... imo, this is a way more economical way of reaching fuel mileage/efficiency goals than gimmicky hybrids and electric vehicles (for which some 3rd world country is going to pay a HUGE penalty when those toxic metal batteries start wearing out and we begin dumping them in someone else's back yard) ... another thing that people don't talk about is the fact that a diesel engine can run an ethanol/gasoline mixture of up to 80% ethanol/20%, given the much higher thermal efficiency of rudolf diesel's engine design (developed in 1893!), making it far more capable of combusting fuels like alcohol that do not atomize/vaporize as readily as gasoline ... i'd sure like to see more work being done around that too -- i.e., flexifuels ... 
Alexey Belkin
Please bring it to America, VW...
Sonoma 70
Stay away from the interior of that Scirocco, pal; and work on developing a vocabulary that helps us understand exactly what design elements you found so moving. 
Mellisa Buckman
such a nice car
I hope they imported it. I recently spotted a Scirocco while on vacation in Spain & almost shit my pants.
FINALLY!!!  as a TDI owner there was nothing to trade  up to  but this is Great News, BRING  it VW!!! I feel a GTD BEETLE would be Cool also!
Edwin McKinney
Bit Strong, I was,  in the last post, yet someone, maybe me, should point out that all this vehicle regulation has repurcussions affecting reg'lar people just trying to maintain their place.  I'm subject to several hoops to jump through (and with money spent to maintain my 'Legal Contractor' place) so do not blame me when I bill you for some simple household repair at seemingly-outrageous prices.  My Point:  Do Not depend on the or any government entitity to 'look-out' for you.  Plenty-enough examples of private enterprise stepping in to look-out for the interests of the regular consumer.  That would be, to name a couple, the Snell Foundation and  Consumer Reports.  We live in an incredible age of free information.  Drink it up!
Edwin McKinney
"Bout Freedom Of Choice in the marketplace.  What-If I were to give up my supposed 'right' to a 'safe' car, whatever that might be to be able to buy any kind of car that would actually attack the Administration's war on carbon-dioxide emissions?  There's any number of commercial vehicles out there, and that would be "Euro-Land", home to $8/gallon fuel cost.  So, Mr/Ms Hapless Homeowner, would you have me fix your household problem with my current 14 mpg domestic vehicle, or would it be better for you to allow me to buy any number of Euro-Good vehicles delivering transport @ half the cost?  Sorry, but I can no longer subsidize your service calls.  All of life is about Choices.  Here's Your Choice:  Either learn to be self-sufficient, or resign ones-self to be at the mercy of providers like me who will NOT discount my service's value.  I've spent a full lifetime perfecting my abilities, and will NOT be dissuaded from my value here on Earth to those still trying to 'make a living' here.
I've been drooling over the TDI for a while now but haven't pulled the trigger yet, still waiting for the next big thing. BTW the torque spec of a 136 lbs ft for the standard motor is a typo, it should be 236
Chris Smith
Me too!
James JJ Kingery
The only car for which I might trade my GTI...
Lawrence E. Leenknecht
We Americans need to learn the superiority if the Turbo Diesel Engine. Volkswagen Must do the right thing and bring it to the U.S. ASAP!
With the 184 hp., extra torque and mpg I would buy this over the GTI. A home run for VW. Please bring it in with euro specs.
VWoA you better bring this to the U.S.! We need more diesels here and this would be a great addition to the U.S. VW lineup. If you bring it I will buy it.
Lee Klein
This would be great. A whole new generation of TDI owners.
Thomas Voelker
Will it exceed 60 or 65 mpg?
"280 lb-ft at 1750 rpm"I could like that !
@rick_young_sector7Please deliver us from auto writers demented dreams of an America filled with soot spewing wagons.  Euro-lemmings that long to be more Euro-like need to get a life and realize that only a TINY fraction of American car buyers want what they want in an automobile.  That is the ONLY reason there are so few wagons that sell.....the market wants no part of them.  Europeans buy diesels in huge numbers because of TAXATION rates on gasoline engines and gasoline fuel compared to diesel.  Auto writers NEVER talk about that because the truth matters not to people trying to advance an agenda.
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Orlando J.
@Edwin McKinney That's a strange assessment. What do you think would happen to, for example, food safety without the FDA? Air and water pollution levels without the EPA? Do you think a profit-minded corporate enterprise is going to voluntarily spend more or profit less just to keep from hurting the public interest? Remember the BP "safety plan" for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, that was so ill-conceived it included a section on helping the "walrus population?" They proposed cleaning up a massive oil spill in the middle of fishing grounds with paper towels and floating booms. Ask a Florida shrimper whether government protections are important.
WE, the people, in the U.S. anyway, are the government.  It's full of problems, sure, but it's not like Exxon and Tyson Chicken are going to "look out" for anyone. So let's keep the silly anti-gubment rhetoric on a low boil, eh?
James Foley
@Edwin McKinney  I've seen plenty of contractors driving bigs trucks, including hemi-powered duallys, with very little cargo in the bed. Maybe they should be driving Transits - like they do in Europe and other parts of the world.
@Lawrence E. Leenknecht Really?  What depends on your definition of "superior".  Diesel take rates are so high in Europe because gasoline and gasoline powered cars are taxed so high...DUH...not because they are "superior".  Diesel spew cancer causing soot...just go to any Euro inner city and scrap your finger along the walls and watch your fingers turn black.  When diesels are cleaned up, they lose most of their MPG superiority over gasoline engines....AND when you factor in the higher cost of a diesel engine, the higher cost of D fuel AND that D fuel take more energy to produce, it add up to NOT making sense for cars much at all.  Light trucks and SUVs that tow, D makes much more sense.  It stuns me that people take the word of auto mag writers as gospel and dont take the time to look up the facts about Europe.  The Euro-lemmings and auto bloggers are the ONLY people that are pushing for diesel cars in the US.  The fact that the US has no demand for diesel station wagons really pisses off the writers and lemmings.  They assume that since European drivers drive something different it must be better......thats not the case.  Reduce the degenerate tax rates in Europe and watch what they buy.
Orlando J.
@AP @rick_young_sector7 Funny, then, that VW had an enormous waiting list for its TDI Sportwagens in California. Which are cleaner than gas engines and therefore don't "spew soot." Maybe -- and I'm just throwing this out there -- Americans like diesels because they enjoy 30+%%%% better fuel economy and great torque. Maybe a 600-mile range makes sense for commuters and families. Maybe they enjoy a fuel that doesn't explode like gasoline. Maybe Europeans prefers diesels because they are taxed on fuel economy and emissions, and diesels are better at both.

Or, it could be the "Euro-lemming" thing you mentioned.
@AP @rick_young_sector7 if you knew me, you'd know i'm anything but a EURO-LEMMING ... the last thing i want is to become like the socialists on any level ... i'm just saying it has always been an interesting observation when i travel overseas re: the disparity between the U.S. and EU on the gas/diesel front (i.e., the diff. in gas/diesel prices being upside down due to greater production rates, which would also bring the two more in line here if there was more equity in demand) ... and i still say that electric cars are a bust -- they're not economical and push electric generation from sources that are even more polluting than clean diesel, and that the third world is going to pay dearly to dispose of the toxic heavy metals from those expensive battery packs when they start failing ... i believe that research in flex fuels with clean diesel will pay back much more quickly with as good or better mileage nos. compared to hybrids, and without the nasty battery downside ... 
Orlando J.
@AP @Lawrence E. Leenknecht None of that is true, AP. Diesel does not cost more to produce than gasoline.  It's less refined and packs more energy density than gas, so diesel engines are typically 30-35%%  more fuel efficient. The newer, cleaner burning low-sulpur engines from VW are every bit as efficient as the old, and produce fewer emissions than gas burners. Find a gas-burning station wagon that delivers the Sportwagen TDI's 42 mpg. Europeans have been first with diesel because their fuel in general costs more, and they are taxed on emissions and fuel efficiency, not because of some horrible tax on gasoline itself.

Perhaps you should look up some facts  yourself.

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