Volkswagen has unveiled its Golf GTE – a new plug-in hybrid version of the multi-award-winning Golf hatchback that combines the benefits of electric mobility with the dynamics of a Golf GTI.
The Golf GTE made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week. It provides the fifth variety of drive type for the Golf, which is now available with petrol, diesel, natural gas (not in Ireland), electric (e-Golf arriving here soon), and hybrid power.
Volkswagen says the name of the Golf GTE reflects its position in the line-up alongside the iconic petrol-powered GTI and the diesel GTD. Where ‘GT’ stands for ‘Gran Tourismo’, ‘I’ stands for ‘injection’, ‘D’ for diesel and ‘E’ for electricity.
The Golf GTE is driven by two engines: a 1.4-litre 150 PS TSI direct-injection petrol engine and a 102 PS electric motor. Together, they combine to produce power of 204 PS and a theoretical range of around 580 miles.
Using the electric motor alone, the GTE is capable of speeds of 81mph. With the TSI engine as well, the Golf GTE can sprint from zero to 62mph in 7.6 seconds and on to 135mph. Torque is a remarkable 350Nm (258lbs ft). Alongside this impressive performance, the Golf GTE offers impressive fuel efficiency, with a combined cycle figure of 188mpg* and CO2 emissions of 35g/km* (*provisional data).
In pure electric mode (activated at the press of a button), the Golf GTE can travel up to 31 miles, depending on conditions, and the electric power can also be saved – for example when driving to a zero-emissions zone. The 8.8 kwh lithium-ion battery can be charged in around three and a half hours from a domestic mains outlet, or two and a half hours from a domestic wallbox. The battery weighs 120kg, giving the GTE a total kerbweight of 1,520kg.
The Golf GTE uses a six-speed DSG gearbox with a triple-clutch system specially developed for hybrid vehicles. The electric motor is integrated into the gearbox housing, while further hybrid components include power electronics and a charger. An electro-mechanical brake servo and an electric air conditioning compressor make for energy-efficient braking and air conditioning.
Visually, the Golf GTE combines elements of the look of the e-Golf and the GTI. The front bumper features C-shaped LED daytime running lights, like those on the e-Golf, as well as aerodynamic horizontal ‘fins’, like those on the GTI. Where the GTI features red, the GTE has blue accents, including across the radiator grille and into the headlights. The headlights, along with all lights on the GTE, are LED. In Ireland, the 18-inch ‘Serron’ alloy wheels should be standard, as in Britain. The Golf GTE will be available in five-door bodystyle only.
Inside as on the outside, the Golf GTE features blue highlights where the GTI has red. This includes stitching on the steering wheel, gear lever gaiter and seats, and a blue stripe in the tartan pattern on the sports seats. The eight-inch Discover Pro satellite navigation system with DAB radio and Bluetooth is standard, and includes bespoke functions for electric vehicles, including the ability to identify potential destinations on electric range, and electric charging points.
The GTE will also feature an e-manager which allows the driver to preset vehicle charging, as well as interior cooling or heating. These functions can also be operated remotely using an app in some countries.
The vehicle speedometer and tachometer are familiar, and the latter is supplemented by a power meter in the central display, which shows the status of the battery, whether or not power is being used and the intensity of any regeneration.
Full details including pricing will be available before the new Golf GTE arrives here before the end of the year.