Sam Philip30 March 2009

GTI goes diesel

Well, sort of. VW announces hottest-yet diesel Golf, but does it deserve the badge?

Volkswagen Golf GTD

See more VW Golf GTD pics

We've just driven the MkVI Golf GTI. It is, in a word, stunning. But if you want your fast Golf in diesel rather than petrol flavour, VW has today announced the Golf GTD.
 
It's the most powerful diesel MkVI Golf yet, putting out 168bhp and 258lb ft of torque courtesy of a 2.0-litre common rail TDI engine. That'll see the GTD to 60mph in 8.1 seconds (a tenth quicker than the quickest MkV diesel Golf) and on to a top speed of 136mph. Emissions are an eminently sensible 139g/km.
 
VW is pitching the GTD as a sort-of-hot-hatch: the suspension has been dropped by 15mm compared with the standard Golf, and it can be specified with Active Chassis Control as seen in the Scirocco, which allows the driver to adjust the suspension, steering and acceleration response.
 
The GTD also gets a GTI-style front end redesign - though with chrome rather than red highlights - along with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and, of course, tartan trim. Prices will start just under £22,000 when the GTD goes on sale in June.
 
We're intrigued by the name, though. The last time we saw the GTD badge was way back in 1982 - the hottest MkV Golf diesel was badged simply as the GT Sport - so is this a blatant attempt to cash in on the Golf GTI name? Are you happy about this? Come on, GTI owners, vent your spleens.

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