The first faceli ever to a Golf also her­alds the lo­cal in­tro­duc­tion of a sleeper model that will have GTI afi­ciona­dos scratch­ing their heads


IT has 30 N.m more torque, is only a sec­ond slower to 100 km/h, and will cost nearly R40 000 less at launch in July, but does the lat­est ad­di­tion to the South African Golf line-up, the GTD, match the pricier and punchier GTI for driv­ing thrills? Mal­lorca’s nearly de­serted, smooth, twist­ing roads should clar­ify whether it’s a worth­while alternative to the ubiq­ui­tous hot hatch.

Lo­cally re­plac­ing the slowselling 110 kw 2,0 TDI from the pre-facelift Golf range, the GTD, which isn’t all that new con­sid­er­ing the rst ver­sion was launched in 1982, ush­ers in a more pow­er­ful en­gine (130 kw – de­tuned by 5 kw ver­sus Euro ver­sions – and 380 N.m of­fered be­tween 1 750 and 3 250 r/min) and, of course, the round of changes ef­fected to the Golf 7. Re­mark­ably, this is the rst time Volk­swa­gen has given a Golf range a midlife re­vi­sion since the rst it­er­a­tion’s in­tro­duc­tion in 1974.

VW lists 10 ma­jor new fea­tures on its global best­seller. Most no­table are the new Dis­cover Pro in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem; ges­ture con­trol; semi-au­tonomous driv­ing and re­lated safety fea­tures, in­clud­ing Front As­sist with Traf c Jam As­sist, City Brak­ing and Trailer As­sist; a new 1,5 TSI en­gine (which isn’t des­tined for our mar­ket – we’ll re­tain the cur­rent 92 kw 1,4 TSI); upped power to 169 kw on the stan­dard GTI – the PP GTI will fol­low in 2018; and re­designed bumpers front and rear, LED rear lamps across the range and xenons ditched in favour of LEDS at the front.

At an es­ti­mated R507 000, the GTD, which is mated solely with a seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box, will boast the new head­lamps as stan­dard, as well as 17-inch Cu­ritiba al­loys, sport sus­pen­sion, cli­mate con­trol and heav­ily bol­stered seats.

De­sign-wise, you’ll need to be a Golf anorak to spot the changes in the Golf range, but they en­com­pass ex­tended chrome strip­ing front and rear, new al­loy wheel de­signs and a fresh colour called Turmeric Yel­low that looks

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