Volkswagen reveals Golf GTE

Autocar India
First Published: 12:36 IST(24/2/2014)
Last Updated: 17:01 IST(24/2/2014)
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Volkswagen’s petrol-electric plug-in hybrid Golf will take a new GTE model nomenclature into production.

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Revealed here in definitive production guise ahead of a planned public debut at the Geneva motor show, the Golf GTE is the second dedicated petrol-electric plug-in hybrid model from the German carmaker, following on from the limited volume XL1 launched in 2013.
 
The GTE tag has been chosen to reflect what Volkswagen describes as the sporting qualities of the new five-door hatchback, which has been styled in a similar fashion to the existing Golf GTI and GTD.
 
Power comes from a transversely-mounted 1.4-litre four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine and synchronous electric motor seated within the gearbox housing. The combustion engine develops 148bhp, with the electric motor delivering 101bhp. Together, they provide the Golf GTE with a combined 201bhp, along with 35.6kgm of torque.
 
By comparison, the Golf GTI’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine kicks out 217bhp and the same 35.6kgm in standard guise. But, while the Golf GTI tips the scales at 1351kg, the Golf GTE is fitted with a 200kg lithium-ion battery, boasting a capacity of 8.8kWh, taking its kerb weight to 1524kg.
 
Drive is channelled through a six-speed gearbox that comprises three individual clutches connected to the front wheels. Volkswagen claims a 0-100kph time of 7.6sec and 217kph top-speed in hybrid mode. The driver can alternatively choose to run in e-mode via a switch on the centre console, in which the advanced new Golf is propelled exclusively by the electric motor for a claimed zero-emission range of 50km at speeds up to 130kph.
 
Based on the European test procedure, the Golf GTE is claimed to boast combined consumption of 66.7kpl. However, the figure is largely theoretical having been achieved on electric propulsion alone.
 
Initially unveiled in prototype form at last year’s Frankfurt motor show, it receives a unique front bumper featuring LED positioning lamps, similar in appearance to those used by the XL1 and standard LED headlamps. The remainder mirrors the appearance of the Golf GTI. But instead of red accents, the Golf GTE boasts blue tones in the form of a continuous horizontal line running through each headlamp and lower blade of the grille, as well as similarly toned GTE badges within the front flanks. Further differentiation from standard Golf models includes widened sills, a spoiler atop the rear tailgate, darkened tail lamp lenses and standard 16inch wheels in a unique design.
 
The interior styling of Golf GTE also leans heavily on the Golf GTI, but with blue highlights instead of the more familiar red shades. Standard equipment includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen monitor. This display houses a range of unique functions, including range monitor, zero emission statistic data and so-called e-manager – the latter allowing vehicle information, including state of charge, to be remotely accessed via a smartphone app that will be made available to customers.
 
The car is planned to go on sale in the UK in late August, with first deliveries expected in December.

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