Set for UK sale from July, the top-of-the-line Golf diesel runs Volkswagen’s new EA288 engine. The transversely mounted 2.0-litre four-cylinder common rail unit delivers 181bhp at 3500rpm and 280lb ft of torque on a band of revs between 1750 and 3250rpm.
This represents a 13bhp and 22lb ft increase on the Mk6 GTD, which ran Volkswagen's older EA827 oil-burner of the same capacity.
Among the changes incorporated on the new engine are new lightweight pistons and valve gear aimed at lowering frictional loses and improving thermal properties, a heavily reworked exhaust and lower compression ratio (15.8:1 versus 16.5:1).
Drive continues to be channeled through a standard six-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels, with a six-speed dual-clutch DSG unit available as an option.
Volkswagen claims the new 1302kg Golf GTD reaches 62mph from standstill in 7.5sec on the way to a top speed of 143mph in six-speed manual guise. By comparison, the old sixth-generation Golf based model possessed figures of 8.1sec and 138mph respectively.
Combined cycle fuel consumption is put at 67.3mpg, giving the new performance diesel average CO2 emissions of 109g/km - an improvement of 14.0mpg and 30g/km on the previous Golf GTD.
The new GTD is distinguished from other standard seventh-generation Golf models by a series of mild styling tweaks, some of which are shared with the new GTI. Included are re-profiled bumpers, wider sills under the doors, more prominent spoiler above the tailgate, a diffuser element at the rear, chromed tailpipe and standard 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 225/45 profile rubber. It also rides on sports suspension.
Inside, the most powerful diesel powered Golf to reach series production receives sport seats, a black headlining, sports steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and foot rest as well as various GTD-themed trims.
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