Volkswagen’s Mark VI Golf hatchback will lose the Rabbit nameplate when it goes on sale in the U.S. later this year. VW of America decided to bring back the Rabbit nameplate three years ago after it was dropped following the demise of the first-generation Golf back in the early 1980s. The idea was coined to help promote the Golf by touching on some of America’s nostalgia for the Mark I Golf, but unfortunately VW had forgotten about the poor quality and lackluster image the original Rabbit had left with many American buyers.

Not surprisingly, reintroducing the Rabbit nameplate did little to boost sales of the Mark V Golf and so it’s not entirely unexpected that VW will be calling the Mark VI model a Golf when it arrives here later in the year. “The Golf is an iconic nameplate for the Volkswagen Brand and it is known throughout the world,” said Mark Barnes, COO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “The Golf is Volkswagen’s best selling global nameplate with more than 26 million units sold in over 120 countries. Making the change back to Golf is an important step in realigning with our global heritage."

It’s not clear which models of the Golf will be available for sale in the U.S., but in Europe the car is available with four different petrol engines ranging from 80hp (60kW) to 160hp (118kW). Fuel economy for the base engine is rated at 36.75mpg (6.4L/100km), while the more powerful 1.4L TSI unit with 160hp is rated at a more economical 37.33mpg (6.3L/100km).

Diesel fans are treated with several engine options, including two 2.0L units developing 110hp (81kW) and 140hp (103kW) respectively, plus the all-new GTD diesel rated at 170hp (127kW). Fuel economy for the 110hp model is rated at 52mpg (4.5L/100km), while the more powerful 140hp unit is rated at 48mpg (4.9L/100km). Efficiency of the sportier GTD remains high as well, at 44.4mpg (5.3L/100km).

By the middle of the year, VW will also start selling the high-performance Golf GTI over here. This version will be available in both three and five-door bodystyles and come with a 210hp (155kW) 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine. An even more potent GTI-R is also expected later on, to replace the defunct R32 model.