Combining the visual and functional character of the new Gen VII Golf GTI with a frugal but potent turbodiesel engine, the 2014 Volkswagen Golf GTD is making its global debut at the Geneva Auto Show. Carrying on a tradition that began in 1982, when the first Golf GTD arrived on the scene, this latest iteration is set to raise the legacy benchmark on every level when European sales begin this spring.

The heart of the newest and most-powerful Golf GTD ever created is VW's 2.0-liter EA288 turbodiesel 4-cylinder engine that makes 181 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, the latter on call from just 1,750 rpm. Those figures represent 11/22 output-unit bumps over the engine in the current Gen VI-based GTD. Backed by a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic, the new Golf GTD can sprint to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 142 mph. It's also clean enough to meet upcoming EU6 emissions standards - a critical stat that also means it will pass muster with U.S. emissions regs while returning a combined EC fuel economy figure of 56 mpg (with the 6-speed manual).

Available in Tornado Red, Pure White and Black, the 2014 Golf GTD raises its curbside profile with the addition of various body bits including side skirts, a functional rear diffuser, roof spoiler, dual chrome exhaust finishers, smoked LED taillights and LED license plate illumination. Complementing those cosmetic touches, the Golf GTD also features a stiffer-and-lower full sport suspension plus 17-inch GTD-specific alloy wheels that mount 245/45 tires.

Inside, the new Golf GTD boasts sport seats with a "Clark" tartan pattern cloth insert, black headliner, a sport steering wheel, stainless-steel pedals and foot rest, and a GTD-specific instrument cluster and shift grip. Other standard include white ambience lighting, automatic climate control, park assist, and VW's latest touchscreen infotainment system.

The 2014 Volkswagen Golf GTD will start near $39,000 when it hits showrooms in Germany. While VW sources in the U.S. admit they would like to the see the car sold here as well, no decision has been made as to if or when that may happen.


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