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by Tim Beissmann

CarAdvice’s Anthony Crawford is at the launch of the 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTD and Golf R and will post full reviews of both cars by the weekend.

Volkswagen Australia has launched the Volkswagen Golf GTD – the car for Golf fans who can’t decide between a GTI hot hatch and a torquey little diesel.

First things first, it’s certainly got plenty of torque. 350Nm in fact, which is 70Nm more than the petrol-powered GTI and 30Nm more than the nearest diesel, the 2.0-litre in the 103TDI Comfortline.

At 125kW of power however, the GTI has its measure by 30kW, and this disparity manifests itself most obviously in 0-100km/h sprint times, where the GTD – at 8.1 seconds – hits the mark 1.2secs after the GTI.

But then there’s economy and emissions, and here it’s the diesel that shines through again. Combined fuel consumption in the six-speed manual-equipped GTD is 5.5 litres/100km (5.8 litres/100km for the six-speed DSG option), compared with the manual GTI at 7.7 litres/100km (7.6 litres/100km DSG). Volkswagen says the GTD is good for a range of up to 1000km.

CO2 is also significantly reduced in the diesel, emitting 145g/km (152g/km DSG) compared with the GTI’s 180g/km (178g/km DSG).

Visually there’s little to tell the two apart. Outside, the GTD’s horizontal grille stripes are finished in chrome rather than the red of the GTI, while at the rear the diesel’s twin tailpipes also get the chrome treatment.

Inside the GTD drops the red tartan of the GTI, replacing it with a more subtle light grey.

Most other features carry over from the GTI including dual zone climate control, Multi-Functional Display trip computer, steering wheel mounted paddle shifter (DSG only), front fog lights, ESP with countersteer assist, braking assistant and seven airbags.

Optional extras range from dynamic bi-Xenon curve headlamps to automatic reverse parallel park assist.

The 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTD is on sale now from $39,290* for the manual and $41,790* for the DSG (undercutting the GTI at $40,490* and $42,990* respectively).

*Prices are manufacturer’s list prices only, contact your Volkswagen dealer for drive away prices.




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