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VW Bringing Sporty New GTD, GTI Models to Geneva

Only one of the hot hatches will make it to the U.S.

by on Feb.27, 2013

The new VW GTI will debut in Geneva next month but won't reach the U.S. until 2014.

Volkswagen will launch a pair of hot hatches at the Geneva Motor Show early next month, including one that could surprise folks who haven’t figured out what modern diesels are capable of doing.

For U.S. fans, the big news will be the debut of the seventh-generation Volkswagen GTI, the latest version of this German pocket-rocket now to be offered with an optional performance package that will churn out a hefty 230 horsepower, enough to launch it from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in just 6.4 seconds on the way to a 155 mph top speed.

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For those who want some neck-snapping performance and good fuel economy, the GTD will deliver with a 2-liter turbo-diesel rated at 184 horsepower and a tire-spinning 280 pound-feet of torque.  VW isn’t saying what it’ll do in 0 to 60 launch mode but the GTD boasts a top speed of 143 mph.

Despite growing interest in diesel power, VW currently has no plan to bring the Golf GTD to the U.S.

That’s good news for Germans living near the Autobahn. Unfortunately, American diesel fans will be disappointed to learn the GTD won’t make it to this side of the Atlantic.  At least for now, but that just might change, some industry observers speculate, considering the unexpectedly strong reception VW has been getting for the few diesel models it has introduced in the States. If anything, it is struggling to meet demand, with production of the bigger Passat oil-burner soon to be ramped up.

The GTD will be the latest variant to emerge off the all-new MKVII Golf that Volkswagen delivered last year.  In European trim it is expected to get as much as 56 miles per gallon on the highway with a 6-speed manual and 50 with the 6-speed stick. European ratings, we should point out, generally run about 25% higher than what the EPA approves for American window stickers.

As with the GTD, the exterior design of the 2014 Volkswagen GTI will be familiar, starting out with the same basic profile and footprint of the MkVII Golf.  It gets some subtle exterior tweaks intended to enhance both the performance look and feel, including LED tail lamps and distinctive 17-inch “Brooklyn” wheels.

The interior has a number of distinctive GTI accents, as always, including the unique steering wheel and shifter.

But the heart of this beast is the turbocharged direct-injection 2.0-liter inline-four. It makes 220-horsepower and 258 pound-feet in standard GTI trim and can hit 100 kmh in 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 153 mph. But you can bump that up to 230 hp with the performance pack – torque holding at 258. Both engines can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG.

Like the GTD, the numbers are European spec but expect similar figures for the American trim GTI.

The gas-powered sedan also will feature a stop-start function, allowing the engine to instantly shut off at a light rather than idling and then instantly fire back up as the driver’s foot lifts off the brake. That, the lighter weight and other improvements should boost fuel economy by 18%, VW claims.

As with the new Golf, Volkswagen engineers put a premium on trimming mass. The new car comes in at 2,978 pounds in its base spec, 56 pounds lighter than the outgoing gen-7 GTI.

While the new GTI will make it to the States, American buyers will be in for a wait. Along with the MkVII Golf, Volkswagen is shifting production for the U.S. market to its plant in Puebla, Mexico. That means dealers here won’t begin taking delivery until sometime in 2014.

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2 Responses to “VW Bringing Sporty New GTD, GTI Models to Geneva”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    It remains to be seen how good the gen VII VW’s are. VW offered a GTD model in Europe a decade or so ago. The 184 HP Diesel with 280 lb-ft torque should be a decent ride but without AWD it’s kinda a waste as is the slightly uprated 230 HP GTI. Few U.S. consumers would be willing to pay the 2x price premium for the Diesel and the GTD suspension so VW is probably wise to not bring the GTD to the U.S. unless they lower the price to reality.

    Until VW implements a proper electronic front limited slip differential instead of ABS based braking to counter wheel spin, their cars will continue to exaspoerate customers and be outshown by the competition.

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      Agreed on the need for the e-LSD. I still would like to see them bring the GTD here.

      Paul E.