“OH, COME ON VW!” This was my first reaction when I heard through the grape-vine a.k.a. the internet, that Volkswagen is releasing a long roofed version of the popular Golf GTD hatchback at 2015 Geneva Auto Show. For those not familiar with the GTD concept, it is basically a formula where Volkswagen engineers insert a more powerful diesel engine and give it some additional handling capabilities over a standard diesel-powered models. So, why am I so frustrated with this news, well let me explain my reasons in the following paragraphs.
Full disclaimer: I AM A HUGE FAN OF WAGONS. There, I said it, and now, I feel a lot calmer and will continue rest of the article without using anymore CAPS, so lets continue, shall we?
I get it, Americans hate wagons, why do they hate it?, I have no idea whatsoever. But, across the Atlantic, our European cousins adore their wagons. In fact, last year, a fourth of the European car buyers bought a wagon of one kind or another. That is a far better than the wagon take rate in the U.S., and because of this reason, auto makers are hesitant at introducing more wagons into the U.S. market, which leaves us, the wagon lovers, in a bit of a limbo.
So, why am I fussing so much about the Golf GTD variant?, well, let me explain. Volkswagen introduced the first Golf GTD way back in 1982. The concept is very simple, first you put in a more powerful diesel engine and then you improve the entire car by adding better handling components and thus, the result is one of the most sought after diesel car from Germany’s largest auto maker.
Compared to the standard Golf Diesel, the GTD receives an upgraded motor and in this case, it is a 2.0 TDI 4 cylinder engine, tuned to generate 181 horsepower and 280 lb.ft. of torque. Which, compared to the regular 2.0 TDI 4 cylinder is far better because the engine in this tune generates just 151 horsepower and 236 lb.ft. of torque. Backing this engine in the GTD is either a fun and easy-shifting six-speed manual, or a smooth-shifting six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.
Also, when compared to the standard Golf model, the GTD receives the same suspension upgrades as the GTI. This means that the Golf GTD comes standard with a lowered, sport-tuned suspension, progressive steering rack, and 17 in alloys with 225 wide tires. To further differentiate the GTD from the regular diesel models, the vehicle receives blackout roof rails, smoked taillights, flared sills, Bi-Xenon headlights, Clark-tartain patterned seats, and the trademark golf ball styled shift knob.
With the upgraded engine, Volkswagen engineers estimate a 0-62 mph of 7.9 seconds and I am sure that the handling dynamics will be much improved compared to the standard diesel-powered models. All of these goodies will become available to our European cousins at a starting price of €31,975 or $36,452, which I admit, is a lot of money for a diesel-powered, front wheel drive, compact wagon, but hey, can you actually put a price on a dream? This dream of ours will debut at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, and no, there is not a slight chance that this thing will make the journey across the pond to our shores. But, there is an on and off rumor stating that Volkswagen might bring the Golf GTD hatchback to our shores, so fingers crossed!