Sure, the new 2015 Volkswagen GTI finally goes on sale in the U.S. this summer, but around here we were even more excited about the possibility of the diesel-powered Volkswagen GTD hot hatch coming to our shores. Sadly, our anticipation may not ever be satiated, as we’re now hearing rumors that U.S. plans for this model are becoming less likely.
A report from Automotive News suggests that this move would be too costly for Volkswagen, based on Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn’s comments at a roundtable at the New York auto show this week. “The GTD would be a great car,” Horn said, but added that, “The price point is not really attractive. So the probability is sort of diminishing.”
A Volkswagen spokesperson in the U.S. told us that the GTD was still under consideration for our shores, but stood by Horn’s statement that it was less likely at this point due to cost and pricing reasons.
The Volkswagen GTD is powered by a slightly more potent version of the new EA288 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder that will be featured in the new 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI in the U.S. However, the high-powered version of this engine cannot be produced at Volkswagen’s engine in Silao, Mexico, where Golf and GTI models are produced for North America. This means that GTD engines would have to be imported from Germany for sale in North America which would increase the production cost for bringing this model to the U.S.
A higher production cost would likely mean a higher price point for the Volkswagen GTD in the U.S., making it a less attractive proposition considering the rest of the Golf and GTI lineup as well as the recently announced Audi A3 TDI Sportback. The 2015 Volkswagen GTI starts at $25,215, so if the Volkswagen GTD cost a few thousand dollars more on our shores, it could risk stepping on the toes of both the standard Volkswagen Golf TDI, as well as the A3 TDI hatchback which is likely to start slightly above $30,000.
Stay tuned in the coming months for more news about the likelihood of the Volkswagen GTD coming to the U.S.