Folks in the U.S. may not be aware that the Volkswagen GTI has a diesel-powered complement in Europe called the GTD. With the European launch of the new Golf-based 2010 GTI, VW has announced the 2010 GTD will follow shortly.
The little diesel hatchback gets nearly all of its good looks from the GTI. It has the same grille, body kit, and vertical fog lights. Where the GTD differs is its 17-inch split spoke wheels and the chrome trim around the grille in place of the GTI's red trim. Also, the rear fascia features twin tailpipes offset on one side, while the GTI's dual exhaust has one pipe on each side.
Sporty styling from the GTI is inherited in the GTD's interior as well. The difference is the red stitching on the GTI replaced by light gray on the hand brake lever and shift boot. The sports seats also differ as they are styled in a so-called "Black-White" color combination.
While the GTD doesn't pack as many ponies as the 210 hp GTI, it makes a respectable 170 hp. Like all diesels, the GTD shines for its torque: it produces 258 lb-ft of twist at 1750 rpm. VW says the little oil burner will do zero to 62 mph in 8.1 seconds and top out at 138 mph with a six-speed manual or 137 mph with the six-speed dual-clutch DSG. Fuel economy on the European combined cycle is 44 mpg with the manual and 42 mpg with the DSG. VW estimates a range of up to 621 miles.
The GTD made its world premier at the Auto Mobil International (AMI) auto show in Leipzig, Germany today. It will go on sale in Europe in early May, and - as usual - no plans to sell the car in the U.S. have been announced (yet).