The new Volkswagen Golf 8 GTD has been revealed alongside the Golf 8 GTI hot hatch, with the diesel-powered version boasting extra oomph and what the Wolfsburg-based firm describes as “high efficiency levels”.

VW claims the latest evolution of the GTD's EA288 2,0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel heart is both the most powerful and cleanest TDI engine ever to be installed in a Golf.

In this latest guise, it generates 147 kW (confirming an earlier leak) and 400 N.m, representing respective increases of 17 kW and 50 N.m over the SA-spec model discontinued here in mid-2019. In Europe, the new Golf GTD will ship standard with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

While the German automaker has yet to announce a claimed 0-100 km/h time (or, indeed, claimed fuel consumption figures), the newcomer will certainly be quicker to three figures than the old 7,4-second SA-spec version.

Billed as a “long-distance sportscar”, the new GTD’s drive system is linked to two selective catalytic reduction catalytic converters connected in series. VW says this new twin-dosing system “greatly reduces nitrogen oxide emissions compared with its predecessor”.

Suspension comprises MacPherson struts fore and a multi-link arrangement aft, with a 15 mm lower ride height than the standard Golf (just like the GTI). A new driving dynamics control system dubbed the “vehicle dynamics manager” has been added, too.

Like the new GTI (and latest plug-in hybrid GTE), the Golf GTD features an illuminated grille bar as standard, along with LED headlamps. The X-shaped foglamps in the lower air-intake grille, however, will be optional. Round back, the GTD has a double tailpipe positioned on the left rather than one on either side, as is the case with the GTI, as well as “GTD” lettering below the VW logo (and no Golf badging).

Of course, it seems unlikely the new Golf GTD will be sold in South Africa, since the model base on the seventh-generation Golf was pulled from the local market in July 2019 due to sluggish sales.