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Auto blogWed, 03 Jul 2013 11:00:00 EST
Part of the Volkswagen Golf recipe that has helped the car sell more than 30 million units in just under 40 years is the number of variants in which the hatchback is offered. Building on that range here in the US, Automotive News is reporting that we will finally be getting the sporty Golf GTD, likely as a 2016 model. It's the GTD, you'll recall, that crosses the performance abilities of the venerable GTI with a powerful and fuel-efficient diesel engine.
After speaking with Andreas Valbuena, Volkswagen product manager for the Golf, AN not only says that the GTD will for sale in the US in a couple years, it also estimates a baseline price of around $27,000, which would place it between the current pricing for the GTI and the Golf R. The GTD is launching in Europe this summer, but we won't be getting the seventh-generation Golf in the US for another year. The news about the performance diesel model isn't entirely unexpected - VW officials have been hinting at it for at least a year now, going so far as to import a sixth-generation model for media test drives on US soil, a task we happily took them up on last year.
The Mk VII GTD uses VW's 2.0-liter TDI engine with output increased to 184 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, allowing the car to sprint to 60 miles per hour in about seven seconds while returning more than 40 mpg in highway driving. We can't wait.
Volkswagen's Chattanooga Assembly Plant is scheduled to vote on whether to unionize in the coming days, but Tennessee state lawmakers are threatening to deny future tax subsidies to the factory, if the vote is successful. The factory is currently the only Volkswagen plant worldwide that is not unionized.
The states's Republican lawmakers have been particularly vocal against the union vote. Tennessee state senator Bo Watson said during a press conference that VW would have a "very tough time" with future incentives if the vote were successful, according to Automotive News. Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said the "heavy hand" of the UAW is not welcome there. VW has drawn criticism from both sides because it has allowed both pro- and anti-union groups to speak to workers and hand out leaflets.
Roughly 1,500 factory employees will vote on whether to unionize from February 12-14. If successful, the Chattanooga factory would be the first in the US organized under a German-style works council system where white- and blue-collar workers directly negotiate factory issues with the company's management.
Think back to January's Detroit Auto Show. Those of you that are fans of the Volkswagen brand, impressed with green technology or simply fall into the "diesel geek" category, will almost certainly remember VW's CrossBlue concept with its diesel/electric hybrid powertrain, seating for seven, and somewhat awkward crossover styling. It was an impressive piece of future tech, to be sure, though it left something to be desired in the, well, desirability department.
Here in Shanghai, VW has brought along a CrossBlue Coupe concept that would seem to include most of the goodness of the original, but flavored with more sport and style this time around.
The CrossBlue Coupe makes use of the same electric drive components as the larger three-row concept: two electric motors (front and rear) powered by a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery. However, where the original concept made use of a TDI four-cylinder, the Coupe substitutes a 295-horsepower, direct-injection, gasoline-burning V6.