2014 Volkswagen Golf: Will U.S. Finally Get GTD Diesel Hot Hatch?

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2010 Volkswagen Golf GTD (Euro)

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTD (Euro)

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Volkswagen is often credited with inventing the "hot hatchback", when the original Golf GTI emerged in the mid-1970s.

The company could also lay reasonable claim to inventing the first diesel hot hatchback, as powerful TDI models of the car have been sold in Europe for well over a decade.

Now, U.S. customers might finally be able to enjoy a diesel Golf more powerful than the standard 140-horsepower TDI, when a "GTD" version of its seventh-generation model goes on sale in the fall of 2013.

According to Car and Driver, Volkswagen is "seriously contemplating" the decision to bring a sporty diesel to the U.S, to join the default GTI model.

The current, sixth-generation GTD produces 168-horsepower, and fries tires with aplomb as it puts 258 pounds-feet of torque to the road. From rest, a sprint to 62 mph takes little more than 8 seconds, and finally runs out of go at 138 mph.

Despite all that performance--and you can bet a seventh-generation car would offer even more--economy is barely any different from the less powerful diesels.

The 140-horsepower TDI currently on sale manages 34 mpg combined by EPA measurements, with an impressive 42 mpg highway--figures which VW buffs are happy to beat with impunity.

Would we be excited by a powerful, frugal, fun-to-drive Golf?

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Comments (9)
  1. I have a TDI. It averages 39 MPG (combined) with the air conditioner off, and about 3 MPG less when it is hot with the air conditioning on. It was suppose to average 33 MPG. The Government continues to underrate diesels, just as they overrated hybrids when they came out.......The performance outlined above seems only margainly different than the current 140HP version. I had hoped that they would bring out a 50 MPG 1.4 or 1.6 liter TDI for the U.S. We need to start moving toward biofuel versions of the TDI's that do not void the warranties. I think there will be a lot more people looking for fuel economy, and green, than looking for a pickup of less than 1 second in the 0-60 time. DSG software upgrades (free) from VW helped on my MPG.

  2. Totally agree...

    Also everyone insists on using the wrong oil in my '09 TDI... Except the dealer and Pep boys... Other chain oil change places want to use something else also even a foreign car place "B&^%& certified" had to be told. They went to Pep Boys to get the right stuff... If it does't say VW 507 on the back of the bottle don't use it. Also the 1 liter size is most convenient.

  3. Here is an article on using biodiesel. This could be a new cottage industry in America and one that would generate lots of jobs. http://www.transmitmedia.com/golfTDI/

  4. @James: Please note that using biodiesel in a new diesel vehicle that's still under warranty will automatically void the warranty. Modern high-pressure diesel fuel injectors aren't designed for biodiesel with different viscosity. Aftermarket biodiesel conversions are usually done only on cars at least 8 years old. FYI.

  5. Houston has a fuel station devoted to B100 biodiesel. I have considered using it, but I contacted VW about B100 first. Here is their response:
    "Volkswagen has studied and approved the use of a maximum of B5 Biodiesel (5% soybean fuel) in our Clean Diesels in the North American market."
    "Volkswagen is currently researching the suitability of higher percentage biodiesel blends; however, no conclusive decision has been reached at this time. Using blends of biodiesel higher than 5% will invalidate our warranty until a future decision is reached."
    Sounds to me like a resounding "NO-NO" from VW. I am guessing that I would get the same response from BMW and Mercedes. So much for using any significant quantity of biodiesel in the new diesels.

  6. Diesel exhaust has just been declared a human carcinogen by the UN.

    Beautiful car, but if one of these passes me, and I happen to breathe, do I get the tiny invisible toxic particles lodged in my lungs, or beyond into major organs?

  7. No...they are subjected to the same exhaust laws as gasoline powered vehicles (Prius included). It is very expensive to certify diesel engines for use in California. The Germans are the only automobile manufacturers selling in America that have an existing infrastructure that allows them to take chances on selling diesels in America.

  8. Just for info here is a run down of typical problems with diesels three to six years old..Particulate filter replacement $1200 to $2300-Dual mass flywheel and clutch $1540 to $2310-Turbo and oil feed pipe replacement $ 2310- Exhaust gas recir valve(EGR)$925- Cam belt if equipped ? Granted new cars will not require this but second owners looking for economy will be in for a shock and this will eventually affect residuals. Since America doesn't have the equivalent of the UK MOT test on cars three years and older I fear there will be a lot of poorly maintained polluting diesels if they succeed in the market.Even with the checks in the UK I am constantly seeing sooty pollution from diesel exhausts.

  9. Cool car, but I doubt if VW has room for such a car in their American line-up. Maybe a grey-market car. VW will provide paperwork that says whether (or not) an engine will meet U.S. emission laws. Note: U.S. laws...NOT California laws.

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