If you equate the word, “sporty,” with “gas-guzzling,” Volkswagen is out to prove you wrong with the upcoming launch of the new Golf GTE.
The “E,” of course, is the giveaway, this plug-in hybrid-electric hatchback set to make its world debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. According to VW, the new model will deliver as much as 31 miles in all-electric mode and using the European rating system gets an estimated 157 miles per gallon.
But it also can pump out 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, enough to defy the traditional image of a hybrid by launching from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in just 7.6 seconds. It can hit a top speed of 135 mph, and will even reach 81 mph in battery mode – though you’ll expect that to cut your range substantially.
The fifth distinct spin-off of the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf, the GTE joins the base hatchback, GTI, GTD diesel and Golf R in the maker’s compact catalogue, as well as the fully-electric e-Golf the maker recently revealed. And it’s the latest VW model to adopt a battery-based drivetrain.
(For more on the fully electric e-Golf, Click Here.)
In this case, there’s an 8.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion pack that can be recharged in as little as 2.5 hours using a charger – or 3.5 hours plugging into a standard European 220-volt socket. The charger port is mounted within a blue-tinted radiator grille.
The battery powers a 101-horsepower electric motor paired with a 148-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine.
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Think of the new GTE as the “green,” fraternal twin to the sporty GTI, a name that first appeared in 1976 and helped usher in the era of the “hot hatch.” Where the GTI is distinguished by sporty red accents, the GTE opts for blue – such as the grille trim around the charger.
To help maximize mileage, there’ve been a number of steps taken to enhance aerodynamics, while also shifting to a more efficient electric air-conditioning compressor.
The new model can be operated in a number of different modes. In e-mode, for example, it will prioritize operating in electric-only mode, if possible. Switch to GTE mode, however, and the car’s sporty side comes to life.
All of the new Golf models are equipped with a touchscreen monitor in the center console, and the GTE gets the new 6.5-inch Composition Media infotainment display. Navigation remains an option, but both systems include a driving range monitor and other features that show how the battery system is performing.
Sadly, if we’ve whetted our readers’ appetites the bad news is that VW currently has no plans to bring the Golf GTE to the U.S. market. That could change, however, if it sees demand for some competing plug-in models, such as the upcoming Audi A3 e-tron, or so green-minded motorists might hope.
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