Volkswagen Launches Golf GTD: The High-Performance Diesel

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

Today Volkswagen officially launched the return of the Golf GTD – a Golf that is high in both performance and fuel economy, thanks to its diesel engine. With 170hp it outstrips the TDI model by 30 ponies. The real difference, however, is in the torque where the GTD makes 258 ft-lbs of the good stuff.

Volkswagen claims a 0-62 mph sprint for the GTD takes 8.1 seconds with a top speed of 138 mph, making it the diesel-powered sibling to the GTI (reviewed here).

At the same time, because it is a diesel, fuel-economy is impressive with an average rating of 44.4 mpg. This means a single tank of gas will go 600 miles.

With a standard six-speed manual the GTD will be available with VW’s impressive DSG gearbox.

Outside this diesel gets a GTI treatment with chrome striping (as opposed to red on the GTI) on the grille, 17-inch wheels, smoked tail lights, chrome tail pipes, a new sporty rear diffuser and a chassis that sits 15mm lower.

Inside, there cabin will be a considerable upgrade over the TDI with the same seats found in the GTI (but in black and silver). Leather is used for the three-spoke steering wheel, as well as for the gearshift-knob and parking brake handle, while the instruments and door trim will get gloss black accents.

There is no word on if the GTD will make it to the U.S. market and while it’s unlikely, if it does, it won’t be until after the new TDI hits showrooms.


Official release after the jump:

To the Point: Comeback of a Classic:
Volkswagen brings the new Golf GTD to market

High-tech diesel in the Golf GTD with 170 PS consumes just 5.3 liters

Golf GTD shows clear affinity to the Golf GTI

Wolfsburg, 08 June 2009 – The Golf model lineup has been growing by leaps and bounds: At the end of 2008, the sixth generation of the bestseller was launched. Shortly thereafter, in early 2009, the new Golf Plus appeared. Then, the current Golf GTI was vaulted to center stage, closely followed by the new Golf Variant. And now the lineup continues: with the new Golf GTD. Its 125 kW / 170 PS power level makes it the highest-performance production Golf with a diesel engine today. The code letters GTD have a magical effect on diesel drivers and carry on a long tradition: 27 years ago the first GTD debuted and revolutionized the diesel market with its turbocharged diesel engine; for the first time, a diesel was not only economical but exceedingly sporty too. The GTD paved the way for the worldwide breakthrough of the TDI – the direct-injection high-tech diesel of the Volkswagen Group.

  • GTD key performance data: The new Golf GTD generation is powered by a highly advanced common rail TDI engine, which makes it stronger (350 Newton-meter), more economical (5.3 liter), cleaner (139 g/km CO2 / Euro 5) and quieter than ever before. The GTD is also sportier: 8.1 seconds for the sprint to 100 km/h and a 222 km/h top speed prove it.
  • GTD affinities: The Golf GTD speaks to all diesel fans who value a maximum in dynamic performance. That is why the GTD shows such a clear affinity to the new Golf GTI (155 kW / 210 PS). While the GTI is in a league of its own with an efficient turbo gasoline engine that offers the performance of far more expensive sports cars, the Golf GTD is making its debut with phenomenal fuel economy and a range of approx. 1,000 kilometer (with a 55 liter fuel tank).
  • GTD high tech: The car’s technical ingredients are among the most advanced that the market has to offer. Naturally, the focal point of this high-tech composition is the TDI engine. Its specific torque is 177.8 Newton-meter per liter engine displacement. In practically any driving situation, the 16-valve four-cylinder engine offers the power of a sports car engine with six cylinders. Just as pioneering is the six-speed DSG gearbox from Volkswagen: Just as on the Golf GTI, on the Golf GTD too there will be an optional dual clutch transmission in place of the standard six-speed version; no other automatic performs more quickly or efficiently. The Golf GTD with DSG is capable of achieving 220 km/h, also accelerates to 100 km/h in 8.1 seconds and consumes just 5.6 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers on average (147 g/km CO2).
  • GTD exterior: The car’s visual appearance is impressive too. The GTD – equipped with a chassis lowered by 15 millimeters, 17-inch alloy wheels (“Seattle”) and 225 section tires – shows parallels and once again a similarity to the GTI in terms of its styling and features. Consider the front end, for example: Among the hallmarks of the GTD and GTI are their bumper designs with standard front fog lights in a typical vertical layout. Their headlights and radiator grilles share the same construction as well. In the case of the GTD, the horizontal stripes in the radiator grille – typical of the GTI – are styled in chrome. At the rear, the turbo-diesel also has a diffuser, but it is modified: The diesel Golf can be recognized by the twin chrome tailpipes of its exhaust system in the diffuser. The taillights are smoked on both top Golf versions.
  • GTD interior: The car’s interior follows Volkswagen’s GT philosophy as well. And this means ergonomics in its purest form, supplemented by features tailored to the Golf GTD. The “top sport seats” – the same as the ones used in the Golf GTI – define a higher standard. Their long-distance touring and racing properties are legendary, as is their styling. In contrast to the GTI, the black sport seats of the GTD are complemented by a light gray color in the diamond stripe pattern instead of red. Another highlight is the three-spoke leather sport steering wheel. And, as on the steering wheel, the parking brake grip and gearshift surround are also finished in leather. The instrument and door trim areas are treated with “Black Stripe” gloss-black accents.
  • GTD is fully equipped: Furthermore, Golf GTD features include details such as chrome bezels for various switches, a black roofliner and black roof pillar trim, automatic climate control, multifunctional display “Plus”, center armrests and the RCD 210 radio system. Standard features also include lowering of the passenger’s side mirror when backing up, heated windshield washer nozzles, headlight cleaning system, “ParkPilot” (with sensors in front and rear bumpers), ESP with countersteer assist and braking assistant, as well as seven airbags, including a knee airbag on the driver’s side.
Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. He has won numerous automotive journalism awards including the Best Video Journalism Award in 2014 and 2015 from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Colum founded Geared Content Studios, VerticalScope's in-house branded content division and works to find ways to integrate brands organically into content.

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  • FreeAgain FreeAgain on Dec 27, 2009

    Great specs. Price for basic GTD? When? I know. When I am too old to matter.

  • John John on Feb 05, 2010

    Why not put the GTD engine into the EOS ??? And while you are at it make sure you make them both available in Australia!!!