It looks like Volkswagen are lining up a new hot Golf to sit alongside the existing GTI and GTD. If the ‘I’ is for fuel injection and the ‘D’ for diesel, an electric hybrid would have to be … a Golf GTE!
The visual cues are all there. GTE badging that mimics those on GTI/GTD models. A blue line that runs across the headlights and grille, just like the red line on the GTI. A body kit, twin exhausts and 18-inch wheels, just like the hot Golfs. There are tartan seats too, above which hovers a flat-bottomed steering wheel bearing a blue GTE logo.
Where the GTE differs to the others is in the way it delivers its power. A turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI burns unleaded fuel to provide 150PS, while the electric motor uses battery power to produce another 100PS. Power is delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed dual clutch gearbox that’s been re-calibrated to work with this new hybrid system.
With the two engines working together the Golf GTE delivers 201bhp and 258lb/ft and is capable of reaching 62mph in only 7.6 seconds, just a tenth slower than the 184PS GTD. The top speed is quoted as 135mph.
The GTE’s party trick is the ability to travel on electric power only. The 8.8 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery offers a range of up to 31 miles at speeds of up to 80mph, after which the petrol engine can take over. It’s a plug-in hybrid too, so you can just slot a cable into the socket hidden behind the front VW logo and recharge the battery for another 31 miles.
According to the official EU figures the GTE will be capable of 157mpg, more than twice that of the 67.3mpg GTD and over three times greater than the GTI’s 47.1mpg. Of course, real world economy will depend on just how much time you spend driving on electric power only. In theory, if you do less than 30 miles a day and charged the GTE up overnight you’d never use a drop of fuel.
The Golf GTE’s prices have yet to be confirmed but order books open in August with first deliveries expected towards the end of the year.