As much as we hate it, most hybrids can be classified as boring, mundane vehicles that sacrifice soul for impressive fuel economy. As of late though, automakers are seeing internal combustion engines and battery packs in a whole new, more enjoyable light. Case in point: the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari, and Porsche 918 are all fantastic examples of wonderful ‘synergy power’ motoring. Luckily, VW is also to interested in such technologies, and is now bringing them for the masses.
Meet the new Volkswagen Golf GTE — yet another quick and spritely vehicle based on the ever-popular Golf. Joining the ranks with other enthusiast favorites, such as the legendary GTI, frugal and fun GTD and the king of the sporty Golf line-up — the Golf R, the newest GTE is indeed a hybrid, and a very impressive one at that.
It must be noted, that rather than being a purely electric vehicle, (such as the Ford Focus EV, Fiat 500E, and Chevrolet Spark EV) the Golf GTE is a plug-in hybrid operating alongside a compact and peppy 1.4-turbo four, producing a respectable 148 horsepower. When in conjunction with the battery pack, total output raises to a very GTI-like 201 hp and a rather impressive 258 pound feet of torque.
Left in e-drive only, the nimble hatch will reach a maximum velocity of 81 mph and with some encouragement from the four-banger, top speed is raised to some 135 mph. With that low-end wave of twisting power produced by the torquey electric/turbo combination, one can expect a sprint from 0-62 mph to take about 7.6 seconds.
Turning this dual-power to usable energy spinning the front wheels is an intricate 6-speed dual-clutch automatic, which was created to seamlessly house the 8.8 kWh battery pack, thereby reducing any discrepancy between pedal action and energy output. The electric-aid weighs a significant 265 pounds, but the extra power and hefty amounts of torque will likely nullify the negative effect of that extra mass.
As is paramount for most hybrids, fuel economy has not been neglected, and is said to reach an impressive 157 fun-filled miles per gallon on the European cycle. As you may have been dreading, VW has no intentions of bringing the
hybrid GTI GTE outside the European market.
Though this is rather heart-breaking news, one can’t help but imagine that the creators of the hyper-efficient Volkswagen XL1 are not finished just yet. Although not official, here’s to hoping that the same idea of a costly yet quick hybrid-diesel makes its way to Ferdinand Piech’s desk, allowing the world to enjoy a sporty and ultra-efficient Golf GTD-E.