The Volkswagen GTD Hits a Snag on Its US Availability


Over the years, the Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) Golf has gained a loyal, if not cultish, following both abroad and in the United States. The passion for the popular only grew hotter as VW introduced the GTI performance version, and the introduction of the diesel-powered Golf TDI opened a whole new chapter for the little hatchback. It’s only logical then that combining the two — the GTI and the TDI, to create the GTD — would be immensely popular, even here in the U.S. where diesel hasn’t met its peak adoption.

It probably would be, but don’t get your hopes up. Volkswagen’s GTD, which is already confirmed for Europe and other markets, may not be coming here afterall due to import costs and issues associated with not being able to build the potent 2.0 liter diesel powerplant at its engine facility here in the states.

VW produces its engines in a facility in Silao, Mexico, and the plant will be tooled to build the less powerful model for the regular Golf TDI, but for unknown reasons, it won’t be able to handle the production of the tuned GTD engines. Therefore, the engines are brought in from Germany, which would add a significant cost to the car.

“The GTD would be a great car,” Volkswagen Group of America CEO Michael Horn told reporters earlier this week, but with that added cost, “the price point is not really attractive. So the probability is sort of diminishing.”

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That’s really unfortunate because the GTD promises to be one hell of a runabout. It boasts 184 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque, yet still manages 28 miles per gallon city, and 40 on the highway despite its hot-hatch status. And for VW’s cult-like Golf following, it represents a sort of halo car for many; hot hatch performance and agility, but great mileage for when your wallet is speaking louder than your appetite for fun. The price, were it to come to the U.S., was ballparked at about $27,000.

Andres Valbuena, product manager for the Golf, told reporters last year that the GTD would be arriving Stateside in 2015. “We see it as a very important part of our full range of offerings, a technology halo for our diesel technology,” Valbuena said at the time, Automotive News reported. However, Horn said he couldn’t disclose why the engine couldn’t be made at the Silao plant, which VW opened in 2013 with annual capacity of 330,000 engines.

Until we know more about the future of the GTD, Golf enthusiasts can look forward to the new GTI model in May, followed by the Golf and Golf TDI later this summer. The electric e-Golf will go on sale in the fall, with the Golf SportWagen and range-topping Golf R to come in early 2015, Auto News said.