VW’s Coolest New Golf Is About to Debut, But America Won’t Get It

A GTI with as much torque as the Golf R that will also get around 40 mpg is coming.


Americans have all but stopped buying the Volkswagen Golf hatchback — to the point we probably won’t even receive the new Mk8 version, at least in any form beyond the GTI and Golf R. Likewise, the fallout from the Dieselgate scandal likely means Volkswagen will never try to market a diesel vehicle in the U.S. again. So we will almost definitely miss out on what may be the coolest Golf variant, the GTD, which VW will unveil at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The GTD is exactly what it sounds like: a diesel version of the iconic GTI. Volkswagen promises it will be the “cleanest TDI engine ever to be installed in the Golf.” It will use twin dosing technology with two SCR catalytic converters to reduce harmful nitric oxide emissions.

Volkswagen did not release performance numbers for the new GTD, but rest assured, they’ll probably make you wish it was available Stateside. The last version had 181 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, the same amount of the latter as the Golf R. (A leak found by Autocar pegs the new GTD as making 197 hp, but makes no mention of other specs.) The previous version also earned about 60 miles per gallon under European testing methods, which would probably translate to somewhere in the 40-mpg range in the EPA’s more realistic tests.

You can add the Golf GTD to the list of great Volkswagens we won’t get in the United States. If you need something to brighten up your day, however, remember that we may get a production version of the electric ID Space Vizzion wagon concept — albeit presumably with a different name.

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