The new Golf GTE will pair a 1.4 TSI petrol engine with an electric motor, for an overall system power of 204hp and 258lb ft of pulling power.
This helps it accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds, onto 134mph… but remarkably, it is also quoted as emitting 35g/km and averaging a staggering 188.3mpg!
It’s the enthusiast’s antithesis to the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, and then some.
The Golf GTE will even be capable of driving up to 31 miles in all-electric mode, for true zero emissions capabilities. To recharge from a standard plug takes three and a half hours; with a wallbox, two and a half hours.
“If you are mostly out and about on short routes daily, you can drive in all-electric mode and emissions-free for days, weeks and months,” says Volkswagen.
It’s no show car special, either. A spokesman confirmed to MR that the Golf GTE will arrive in Britain before 2014 is out, for a list price of around £28,000 once the £5,000 Government Plug-In Car Grant, for which it’s green enough to qualify, is taken off.
Yes, this is a hot hatch the Government will pay you to drive.
The GTE is, officially, the third model in the hot Golf range, alongside GTI and GTD. It thus has almost exactly the same spec and setup as the other two cars, plus a few extra features too – specially, VW’s Discover Pro sat nav that can plot routes incorporating recharge stations.
From the outside, it has the C-shaped LED running lights of the e-Golf, but is otherwise largely identical to the GTI. Rather brilliantly, it replaces all the famous red pinstriping of the Golf GTI with blue – the radiator crossbar being the most obvious cue.
Inside, it again substitutes red for blue in the detailing – from steering wheel stitching to seats to gearshift trim… even the ambiance lighting is blue instead of red.
Also note how the famous tartan’s red detailing has been replaced by blue… just as the Golf GTD replaces it with grey. Fantastic detailing (watch this trim become highly prized in Golf enthusiast circles in years to come…).
Unlike the GTI though, this one doesn’t have a conventional rev counter. Instead, it has a power meter, so drivers can monitor whether the battery is deploying or regenerating energy, plus how much system power overall is being used.
The GTI of the future?
The Golf GTE is a fascinating and very compelling new model from the inventors of the hot hatch. Has Volkswagen invented the first hot plug-in hybrid here? Everything suggests so; we thus can’t wait to see it at Geneva 2014.
One more factoid, detail fans: the launch of the GTE means the Golf range is the only car in the world to offer every single drive mode on the market – that’s petrol, diesel, natural gas, electric and plug-in hybrid…