Make no mistake, this thing packs a punch.

Right off the bat, let’s be clear that the Mark 8 version of the Volkswagen Golf GTI will keep its internal combustion engine. But what is the Golf GTD like, and how does it perform? Thankfully, Automann-TV’s latest video shows us that diesel can still boogie.

It may be easy for keyboard warriors in the comments section to dismiss the GTD as a tractor – or whatever else they come up with these days – but just because something is powered by diesel doesn’t mean it’s slow; Audi produced its earth-shattering results at LeMans using the gasoline alternative. Aside from Porsche’s 19 wins at the Circuit de La Sarthe, Audi is a close second, producing 13 diesel-powered wins.

Gallery: 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTD

However, from the first standing start in the video, it’s clear that the rev range in this car is incredibly narrow. While it’s impossible to escape the small powerband of a diesel, the low redline produces a very muted character. You could argue that it sounds great for a diesel, but you’d be hardpressed to call it anything more.

If you put the subdued soundtrack aside, Volkswagen’s diesel powerplant packs a punch in rolling acceleration scenarios. Its 2.0-liter turbodiesel may only produce 197 horsepower (147 kilowatts) – a 48 hp deficit to the current GTI – but it puts out an astonishing 295 pound-feet (420 Newton-meters) of torque – 22 more lb-ft than the GTI. Numbers aside, the GTD produces more torque low down compared to its internal combustion compatriot.

So let’s face facts, while the diesel Golf may not be the giddiest hatchback on the market, it does make diesel more exciting. Rather than being a moot attempt at matching the GTI, we’d wager this vehicle will give long-haul commuters something to think about next time they find themselves in a Volkswagen Showroom.