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VW: Golf GTD may not reach American market

Volkswagen says the engine used in the diesel-powered Golf GTD has to be built in Germany, and importing it may make the car too pricey for the US.

Dirk Brandes/AP/File
The VW logo sits at the top of headquarters of Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg, Germany. The company believes the Golf GTD's price is "not really attractive" for US buyers.

With hot-hatchback performance and diesel fuel economy, the Volkswagen Golf GTD seems to offer the best of both worlds. Yet U.S. drivers may not get the chance to find out exactly how good it is.

Speaking to Automotive News (subscription required), Volkswagen Americas CEO Michael Horn said the chances of the GTD coming to the U.S. are diminishing. The VW executive said the diesel hot hatch would be too expensive to sell on this side of the Atlantic.

That's because the GTD's 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine can't be built at the VW engine plant in Silao, Mexico, so it would have to be imported from Germany. This would significantly affect the car's cost.

However, Horn did not say why the GTD's EA288 engine couldn't be built at the Silao plant, which already builds a lower-spec version for the upcoming Golf TDI. That engine, by the way, produces 184 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque in the GTD, and is available with both six-speed manual and dual-clutch DSG transmissions.

"The price point is not really attractive," Horn said. Volkswagen previously said the GTD would arrive in the U.S. next year, with a sticker price of around $27,000.

The GTD isn't the only green hot hatch Volkswagen is holding back. The plug-in hybrid Golf GTE won't be sold in the U.S. either, although its Audi A3 e-tron Sportback cousin will.

U.S. buyers will get several other Golf models, though. The 2015 GTI will arrive in U.S. showrooms in June, followed by regular Golf and Golf TDI models in August, and the electric e-Golf in the fall. A new Golf SportWagen and Golf R will follow in early 2015.

A refreshed Passat is also coming next year, which will feature more substantial changes than the 2015 Jetta unveiled at the 2014 New York Auto Show. Volkswagen also plans to add a "value edition' to the Golf TDI range further down the road.

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