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Confirmed: Volkswagen GTD headed to U.S. showrooms

by Nat Shirley

The GTD performance diesel will offer 280 lb-ft of torque and at least 40 mpg highway.

After months of speculation and rumors, Volkswagen has finally confirmed that it will offer its latest GTD performance diesel to U.S. buyers.

The GTD is essentially identical to the seventh-generation GTI except for one key area: it packs a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder that produces 184 horsepower and, more importantly 280 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm. That output is enough to scoot the oil-burner from zero-to-60 mph in around seven seconds.

In the somewhat optimistic European cycle, the GTD is rated at 56 mpg combined when equipped with a six-speed manual (an available six-speed dual-clutch automatic dings mileage slightly). Using the EPA's testing methods, Volkswagen says it should be good for at least 40 mpg on the highway.

Rather than launching in the U.S. with the redesigned Golf as a 2014 model early next year, the GTD will likely arrive later as a 2016 model. Pricing is expected to start at about $27,000, or roughly $2,000 more than the new GTI; it's not yet clear whether both two- and four-door variants will be offered.

Volkswagen hopes that five to 10 percent of Golf TDI buyers will opt for the GTD. Last year, the automaker sold 10,029 Golf TDIs.

We recently had the chance to get behind the wheel of a European-market GTD and found it to be a torquey and efficient take on the successful GTI hot hatch formula - check out our first drive review here.

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