The Golf GTI is a cracking car, the Golf GTD offers huge fun with unbelievable fuel efficiency figures and now there is another car amongst the top of the Golf range, the Volkswagen Golf GTE. Where I stand for injection and D for Diesel, the E may be the most controversial yet, E is for Electric. The full details will be released when the GTE is unveiled at next weeks Geneva Motor Show.
It seems to be the fashion as of late but the new kid on the Golf block is a hybrid. The Golf GTE features a modest 1.4-litre ‘TSI’ petrol engine that produces a rather dull 148bhp. The fun comes when this rather normal engine is linked to the 101bhp electric motor that has been squeezed between a separator clutch and the DSG transmission an identical power train to that found in the Audi A3 e-tron.
When operating hand-in-hand, the two power sources can send a peak power output of 201bhp and 258lb ft of torque to the front wheels compared to the 217bhp of the GTI. This is not a substantial power disparity and the GTE and GTI both produce 258lb ft of torque, a very respectable figure of a hot hatch.
The major difference is one that affects handling, economy, comfort and virtually every aspect of driving, the cars weight. Batteries are certainly not very light and those fitted in the Golf GTE weight in at 120 kilograms. This raises the curb weight to a rather cumbersome and unflattering 1,520 kilograms a total of 170 kilograms over the cars GTI badged sibling.
What the car potentially will lose in dynamics it compensates for in the form of efficiency, the figures are impressive to say the least. At the touch of a button the Golf GTE can engage it electric mode where the car can reach 130km/h for a maximum of 50 kilometres.
Having said that we expect the weight of the batteries to some what blunt the dynamic of the Golf GTE, the performance figures suggest that the hybrid is certainly no slouch. With the TSI engine engages along side the electric gibbons, the Golf GTE can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds and on to maximum speed of 222km/h.
The car features hints of the GTI with its aggressive veins on its bumpers accompanied with a few unique touches such as the LED running lights that give this hybrid a touch more aggression. Inside its all usual VW with a premium feel cabin and a few very nice touches such as the new GTI/R wheel that we loved when testing the Golf R on ice!.
We will have to wait and see if the drive is as electrifying as Volkswagen say the Golf GTE will be but we sure hope that the fun and charm of the GTI and R will not be lost as the car aims to be less damaging to the environment. Stay tuned with GTspirit for more on the Golf GTE and all the latest news from the nearing Geneva Motor Show 2014!