The German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen has unveiled the first pictures of its new plug-in hybrid version Golf GTE. The Golf is now available with petrol, diesel, natural gas (not in the UK), electric and hybrid power. The name of the Golf GTE reflects its position in the line-up alongside the iconic petrol-powered GTI and the diesel GTD.
The Golf GTE is available in two engine: 1.4-litre 150 PS TSI direct-injection petrol engine and a 102 PS electric motor that deliver 204 PS of power and a theoretical range of around 580 miles, it is capable of speeds of 81 mph and can sprint from zero to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds. It offers impressive fuel efficiency with a combined cycle figure of 188 mpg and CO2 emissions of 35 g/km.
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 120 kg, giving the GTE a total kerbweight of 1,520 kg.
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.
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 8-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 the Volkswagen Car-Net app on a smartphone: a three-year subscription will be included in the UK.
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.