Long has the Volkswagen GTI been the top dog in the hot hatchback segment. Despite being down on power—200 horsepower—versus most of its competitors, the GTI is still among the best in quality, poise, practicality, and driving pleasure. It’s a tough combination to beat. That is, unless you’re Volkswagen building the car that takes it down a rung by way of an even better car.
In this week’s Ignition episode, host Carlos Lago drives the 2013 Volkswagen GTD. Ostensibly, it is a GTI, save for one important point: Its engine. Replacing the tried and true turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the GTI is the same 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine found in the rest of VW’s lineup, albeit boosted from 140 to 170 horsepower. More importantly, however, it generates 258 pound-feet of torque—pulling power—versus the GTI’s 207. While it’s a little slower than its gas-powered stablemate, the GTD returns about 30-percent better fuel economy and Lago says it feels much more spritely than it is.
The combination of the GTI’s sport suspension and the torquey diesel engine aren’t sold in the U.S. But should they be under the sheetmetal of the same car? Watch the video to find out.
Source: Motor Trend via YouTube