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That is classic limp mode. Is it an automatic or manual gearbox?

There is a writeup at the top of the forum here: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q_how_to/multi/limpmodetdi.htm It describes exactly what you are feeling and how to fix it. Your car shuts down power to protect itself against some malfunction. It's probably a sticky n75 boost controlling valve or a broken vacuum line. Since it only happens sometimes, it's not too bad but it'll be hard to spot the broken line, so just replace all of them.
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