2010 VW Golf GTD - click above for high-res image gallery

Prior to the U.S. launch of the Volkwagen Golf MK VI, a few months back rumors emerged that the Americans were going to get a crack at the GTD version of the hatchback. For those unfamiliar with the GTD, it's essentially the much loved GTI but with a 170 hp version of the 2.0-liter TDI diesel. Unfortunately, when we got the details on the Golf lineup last week, the GTD wasn't included. While in Germany this week to drive the new Golf lineup, we spoke with VW of America product planner Andres Valbuena about the GTD's fortunes, and the news is promising.

According to Valbuena, while the GTD didn't make the cut for launch, it is still under consideration. In fact the GTD could arrive within the next 18 months. Originally, it was speculated that the GTD would likely carry the existing 140 horsepower diesel along with all of the other good bits. Valbuena tells us that if they do offer the GTD in the U.S., VW will do it right and bring the high output 170 hp engine.

One car that's definitely coming is the Jetta TDI Cup model. This is essentially a street legal version of the race car but without the race bits like the roll cage. It will get the same front fascia available from the VW performance parts catalog, along with the bigger brakes, suspension upgrades and interior bits from the GLI sedan. Unfortunately, the TDI cup replica keeps the standard 140 hp engine instead of the 170 hp unit in the race cars. The cup car will probably have its public debut at LA Auto Show in December prior to going on sale in January.

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