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VW Golf GTD and three-door GTI not ruled out yet

Potential: The three-door Volkswagen Golf GTI is not available in Australia at this stage, but might be down the track.

Limited volume, but Volkswagen may yet sell Golf GTD and GTI 3-dr on niche basis

2 Oct 2013

VOLKSWAGEN is still contemplating launching the new-generation Golf GTD performance diesel in Australia, as well as the three-door GTI.

But these niche vehicles may still be upwards of 12 months away, as the company will not commit to them as permanent members of the Golf club after very limited sales of the previous-generation versions.

The GTI three-door in particular struggled to account for more than five per cent of total Golf volume, despite being keenly priced at $38,990, compared to its more expensive five-door sibling.

In the interim, Volkswagen will concentrate on establishing the completely redesigned GTI five-door, as well as its higher-output GTI Performance and the flagship R 4 Motion all-wheel drive models that will follow during 2014.

Speaking at the Mk7 Golf GTI five-door launch in Tasmania this week, Volkswagen Group Australia managing director John White revealed that fans of both the GTD and three-door iterations should not lose hope, particularly if there is enough groundswell demand for them in their new seven-generation guises.

“Right now it is not on the plan for the GTD,” he said. “The jury is still out about what the potential opportunity is with the car in this market, but currently there are no immediate plans.

“(However) it doesn’t stop us considering it as a special edition model for later on, but in the same way we may want to consider the three-door GTI as a special edition example.

“But to have it in the line-up based on the sales result of the previous generation, it is not something that we are going to bring in as a permanent staple in our line-up.”“It’s not out of the question, but we were looking at about a five per cent installation rate on the previous-generation (GTI three-door). It does give you a lower entry price point, obviously, and that will appeal to certain numbers of our clients.

“But we are going to focus on the five-door right now. We will only bring in the others once we evaluate demand from dealers and from our customers.

“I don’t want to discount it as a now or never (proposition)… but we are trying to keep the line-up as simple as possible. That won’t appease everyone.” Volkswagen unveiled the Golf GTD just prior to the Geneva motor show in February, touting its 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.5 seconds (a full second behind its latest petrol twin but only slightly behind the Mk6 GTI), courtesy of a 135kW/380Nn 2.0-litre TDI driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearbox.

The outgoing Mk6 Golf GTD, with 125kW and 350Nm, was released in Australia in the middle of 2010.

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