Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system, the two-seater can also cover a distance of up to 50km in all-electric mode, and therefore with zero local emissions.

For more practical driving the Golf GTD is being launched at Geneva.

Some 30 years after the original model introduced European car drivers to a blend of practicality, high performance and abstemiousness, Volkswagen is readying the latest Golf GTD.

Back in 1982, the first Golf GTD was revolutionary, being a compact hatchback with sporty tuning, the style of the Golf GTI and low diesel running costs.

The new GTD, based on the seventh-generation Golf, is the most powerful ever and, like the original, it blends performance with fuel-efficiency to make it a great long-distance touring car.

With a six-speed manual gearbox, the Golf GTD, powered by a 2.0-litre common rail turbodiesel producing 184bhp and 380nm of torque from 1,750rpm, consumes just one gallon of fuel every 108 kilometres/67.3 miles, making for CO2 emissions of only 109g/km.

With the optional six-speed DSG, fuel consumption is 60.1mpg (three-door: 119g/km CO2; five-door: 122g/km CO2). Acceleration from 0 to 100kph takes just 7.5 seconds, while the top speed is 228kph.