Following the Dieselgate avalanche, some customers may expect no less from Volkswagen than a complete switch to EVs, such as the 355-hp ID. Space Vizzion Concept shown last November. Yet while electric longroofs are indeed coming from Wolfsburg, no costly emission scandal could stop the brand from coming up with a better four-cylinder TDI on the side. Designed for the upcoming Golf GTD and advertised as “one of the cleanest combustion engines in the world,” the latest evolution of VW’s diesel promises to combine outstanding economy with more than enough power and torque for an engaging drive. In other words, it’s business as usual at the TDI headquarters.
With urban air pollution at a record high and experts arguing about the microscopic emission particles that now damage at a cellular level, there will always be those who will choose a Golf GTD over a gasoline-powered GTI or a hybrid GTE, claiming valid range, torque, and fuel economy benefits.
The outgoing Golf GTD is certainly a great daily driver, and a car that, at one point, almost made it to America as well. However, that pairing wasn’t meant to be, and now, the new GTD is also set to remain a European affair, regardless of the fairly damaged image of diesels on the old continent. Volkswagen argues that, after almost four decades of Golf GTDs on the market, the 2020 model stays relevant by using twin AdBlue injection through two SCR (selective catalytic reduction) catalytic converters, a process which greatly reduces NOx emissions.
Not sacrificing too much power in the name of reduced emissions, the Golf GTD is expected to produce 197 horsepower—up from its predecessor’s 181, though some 44 less than the GTI. After all, that’s been a tradition since 1982.