News - Volkswagen
Volkswagen Golf diesel dead for Australia
Oil-burning VW Golf TDI discontinued in wake of WLTP regs and unlikely to return
6 Aug 2018
VOLKSWAGEN has confirmed that diesel-powered versions of the Golf have been discontinued in Australia, with the prognosis unlikely to change even with the next-generation model looming for a launch sometime later next year.
According to Volkswagen Australia passenger vehicles product marketing manager
Jeff Shafer, the drying up of supply as a result of the cessation of certain petrol and diesel engines, combined with falling customer demand in Australia, have sealed the fate of the Golf TDI for the time being.
“At the moment we don’t have any diesels in the Golf range,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the Tiguan Allspace in Melbourne last week. “It’s a change to the model year 2019 changeover, and it is part of the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Duty Vehicles Test Procedure) changes coming through.
“That engine and others are not available to us anymore – the 110TDI, the 169TSI in the GTI as well as the 135TDI in the Alltrack.”
With only a finite number of the independent testing rigs available between all manufacturers, it is understood Volkswagen AG in Germany is working around the clock to complete the necessary fuel consumption and emissions testing on hundreds of different variants.
From September 1, no new vehicle can be sold in Europe without having met the procedure, which is said to be more real-world accurate than the previous New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test.
Mr Shafer was unable to verify the return of the Golf diesel in Australia once the eighth-generation Golf is unveiled next year, believing that demand for diesels in this market is unlikely to return to the heights of a decade ago, when Golf TDI sales accounted for upwards of 40 per cent of total series volume.
Even putting aside the ongoing fallout of the so-called Dieselgate emissions-cheating scandal, comparatively stable oil prices combined with the reduced average fuel consumption of petrol engines have further diminished the appeal of diesels in Australia, to the point where they now account for under 10 per cent of total Golf volume.
“I don’t know whether we will see (diesel) come back in the current car, but we do have a little bit further down the road with the Golf ‘8’ coming and we’ll see what we do with diesel engines then,” Mr Shafer said.
“We always try to look at what the market wants, and what customers are buying. And diesels have been a fairly minimal part of the Golf range in terms of the mix and sales, so we’ll evaluate that as we move forward.
“When we look at the trends in the marketplace, diesel in passenger vehicles has been declining across the board for some time, and I think that has to do with the advancements that we’ve been seeing on the petrol side.
“The petrol Golf 110TSI produces good torque and fuel efficiency, meaning you can get very good performance from a low-capacity engine and really good driveability at the same time.
“Petrol engines have really come quite far.”
With the demise of the Golf TDI in Australia, only the Peugeot 308 and Hyundai i30 remain flying the flag for diesels in the small-car class.
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