Volkswagen has launched a new Golf highlight on the market: the Golf GTD. The acronym GTD has a long tradition: Back in 1982 the first Golf GTD appeared - the GTI among diesels. The new Volkswagen Golf GTD with its 125 kW / 170 PS speaks to all diesel fans who value a maximum in dynamic performance. That is why the GTD shows such a clear similarity to the new Golf GTI (155 kW / 210 PS). While the GTI is in a league of its own with an efficient turbocharged gasoline engine that offers the performance of far more expensive sports cars, the Golf GTD is making its debut with phenomenal fuel economy. Every 100 kilometers, just 5.3 liters of fuel flow through the piezo injection valves of the common rail engine that can hardly be pegged as a diesel. That is equivalent to CO2 emissions of just 139 g/km. This contrasts with a top speed of 222 km/h and 8.1 seconds for the sprint to 100 km/h. When the driver accelerates, the TDI surprises with exceedingly sporty sound, while still offering excellent long-distance touring comfort thanks to its very good acoustic properties.
Like the GTI, the GTD will also be offered with an optional six-speed DSG instead of the standard six-speed transmission version. In the opinion of many experts, this is the most efficient automatic of our times. The Volkswagen Golf GTD with DSG reaches a top speed of 220 km/h, and it too accelerates to 100 km/h in 8.1 seconds and consumes 5.6 liters of diesel on average (147 g/km CO2). Thanks to these excellent fuel efficiency values, GTD cars with either transmission version can travel about 1,000 kilometers on one tank of fuel (55 liters).
The most important conceptual component of the Volkswagen Golf GTD is the common rail TDI with 170 PS being used in this model series for the first time. The 1,968 cm3 displacement engine is part of a new generation of TDI engines that is more fuel-efficient, low-emitting and more powerful. In parallel, Volkswagen significantly improved the acoustic properties of new generation TDI engines.
The maximum power of the GTD engine lies at 4,200 rpm. Between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm is where the engine - as sporty as it is economical - develops its maximum torque of 350 Newton-meters. Its specific torque is 177.8 Newton-meter per liter displacement. In practically any driving situation, the 16-valve four-cylinder engine offers the power of a sports car engine with six cylinders!
Fuel induction is handled by the latest generation common rail system. Fuel injection pressures of up to 1,800 bar and special eight-hole injection nozzles achieve especially fine atomization of the diesel fuel. The injection nozzles equip the piezo in-line injectors. The electrically controlled piezo crystals - boosted by hydraulics - initiate trigger injection in fractions of a second. Compared to conventional solenoid valves, piezo technology enables greater flexibility in injection processes with smaller, more precisely metered fuel quantities and multiple injections with up to seven individual injections per working cycle. The results are a very quiet and pleasantly smooth-running engine, exceptionally quick response, excellent fuel economy and low emissions. Naturally, the Volkswagen Golf GTD meets limits of the Euro-5 emissions standard.
Engine acoustics are also improved by a fully maintenance-free toothed belt drive for the exhaust camshaft. For the first time on this TDI, Volkswagen is using an exceptionally low-noise, ribbed V-belt covered by an elastomeric film to drive ancillary components. The conversion to common rail technology and numerous other acoustic measures - such as a damping film in the windshield, an extensive noise attenuation package and aero-acoustic fine tuning of the body - have made the new VW Golf GTD one of the quietest diesels in its class.
Sound - sporty sound - was not exactly a strength of diesel engines until now. However, the GTD's new common rail engine is in fact different. Like the new Golf GTI, the GTD also has an innovative engine sound system that acoustically underscores the engine's power. In addition, the common rail TDI itself has a positive effect on passive safety: Compared to the pump-nozzle TDI of the previous Golf generation, the new turbo-diesel has a significantly lower vertical profile. This improves pedestrian safety, since the engine hood now exhibits a larger deformation area.
The new Volkswagen Golf GTD is equipped with a sport chassis lowered by 15 millimeters. The entire architecture of springs, dampers and rear stabilizer were completely retuned for the sporty turbo-diesel. Up front, the familiar strut-type suspension operates with helical springs and telescopic dampers. In the rear, the innovative multi-link suspension ensures that the ESP system seldom needs to intervene.
As an option, the new VW Golf GTD can be ordered with dynamic chassis control (DCC). The system continually reacts to the roadway and driving situation and modifies the damper characteristic accordingly. DCC also reacts to acceleration, braking and steering inputs. This resolves the apparent conflict in goals between a stiff, sporty layout and a comfortable one. Background: A gain in sportiness generally means a loss of comfort, and the opposite holds true as well. An ideal chassis continually adapts to roadway conditions and the driver's wishes or those of the passengers. However, that would require electrically adjustable damping. DCC is precisely such a system. Along with the damper characteristic, the electro-mechanical power steering is tuned as well. Dynamic chassis control offers three programs: "Normal", "Sport" and "Comfort". "Sport" and "Comfort" are selected via a button located in front of the gearshift lever.
The styling and features of the Volkswagen Golf GTD and GTI clearly show overlaps. Consider the front end, for example: Among the hallmarks of the GTD and GTI are their bumper designs with standard front fog lights in a typical vertical layout. Their headlights and radiator grille are also identical in construction. In the case of the GTD, the horizontal strips in the radiator grille - typical of the GTI - are styled in chrome. The gran turismo diesel also shares the honeycomb structure of the radiator grille's lower and upper protective screens with the GTI.
Consider the rear: The turbo-diesel has a modified diffuser here. Even if no GTD emblem is ordered with the car purchase, the diesel Golf can be recognized by the exhaust system's twin chrome tailpipes on the left side of the diffuser (GTI: one tailpipe on the left and one on the right). The taillights on both Golf top versions are smoked. The special exterior colors "Black" and "Tornado red" can also be ordered on either car at no additional charge; they emphasize the dynamic character of the two "GTs".
The car's interior follows Volkswagen's GT philosophy as well. And this means ergonomics in its purest form, supplemented by features tailored to the Volkswagen Golf GTD. As in every sixth generation Golf, the exceptionally high-quality materials that are used make an immediate impression in their pleasing look and feel. The "top sport seats" - the same as the ones used in the Golf GTI - define a higher standard. Their long-distance touring and racing properties are legendary, as is their styling. In contrast to the GTI, the black sport seats of the GTD are complemented by a light gray in the diamond stripe pattern instead of red. The name of the pattern is identical: "Jacky". As a color for the so-called cap stitching, an elegant light gray ("Art Grey") is used here instead of red ("Flash Red"). The driver and front passenger seats are height adjustable and equipped with a lumbar support. On this car, the seating system can be ordered with full "Vienna" black leather upholstery as an option.
Another highlight is the standard leather three-spoke sport steering wheel. Its lower radius is noticeably flattened, a feature usually reserved for race cars. The horizontal spokes were integrated in the styling of the grip recesses for the hands. The ergonomically ideal grip recesses are covered with smooth leather, while other areas of the wheel feature perforated leather. Also as elegant as it is sporty is the chrome look of the three spokes; the GTD signature was worked into the vertical spoke. The wheel is also available as a multifunctional steering wheel as a special option. When the Golf GTD appears with a DSG transmission, its steering wheel functionality is extended by the addition of shift paddles ("-" left, "+" right) located by the two horizontal spokes.
Also fitted in standard black leather are the parking brake lever and the gearshift surround. Here too, the light gray stitching provides a color contrast. Chrome surrounds are standard on the rotary light switch, controls for the power windows, air vent nozzles and accents for the power mirror adjustment switches. Meanwhile, the instrument and door trim areas are treated with "Black Stripe" gloss-black accents. The pedal caps and foot support are made of stainless steel with an integrated anti-slip rubber profile.
Moreover, interior features of the VW Golf GTD include additional details (baseline comparison: Golf Trendline) such as a black roofliner and black roof pillar trim, dual-zone climate control system ("Climatronic"), reading lights in front and rear, multifunctional display "Plus" with trip computer, center armrests, front and rear, two additional air vents and cup holders in the rear, pass-through cargo capability in the rear bench seat, an additional cargo bin in the trunk area and an RCD 210 radio system.
Standard exterior features include a passenger's side outside mirror that lowers for backup driving, front fog lights with chrome frames, a winter package (with heated windshield washer nozzles, heated front seats, headlight cleaning system and warning indicator for low washer fluid level) and the "ParkPilot" (with sensors in the front and rear bumpers). Standard safety features include ESP (with countersteer assist, braking assistant and trailer stabilization) and seven airbags, including a knee airbag on the driver's side.
As an option, Volkswagen is offering the same Bi-Xenon headlights on the Golf GTD as on the Golf GTI, including dynamic curve lighting. The headlights swivel through a steering radius of up to 13 degrees to the outside and seven degrees to the inside. The styling of the headlights closely matches the GTD's sporty character. The embedded dual modules (Xenon outboard, parking light / turn signals inboard) each have a chrome pod through which a very impressive visual image projects.
Another high-end technology of the new Volkswagen Golf GTD is the optional "Park Assist". The second generation of the system is used here. It enables nearly automatic back-up parking parallel to the roadway. The driver just needs to actuate the gas pedal, brake and (in the manually shifted version) the clutch, while the GTD steers into the pre-scanned space by sensor control. Previously, the space had to be at least 1.4 meters longer than the vehicle; now 1.1 meters is sufficient. In addition, the system now enables multiple forward-reverse stages in parking. "Park Assist" deactivates itself as soon as the driver manually intervenes in steering.