Robert Llewellyn recently spent some time driving the Volkswagen Golf GTE – a plug-in hybrid version of the multi-award-winning Golf hatchback.
The Golf GTE, which made its world debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, combines petrol and electric motors to produce 204 PS and giving a theoretical range of 580 miles. It is driven by two engines: a 1.4-litre 150 PS TSI direct-injection petrol engine and a 102 PS electric motor.
Together, they produce power of 204 PS and torque of 350 Nm (258 lbs ft). Using both engines, the Golf GTE can sprint from zero to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and on to 138 mph, and it can still hit 81 mph on electric power alone. Yet it returns a combined cycle figure of 188 mpg and CO2 emissions of 35 g/km.
In pure electric mode (activated at the press of a button), the Golf GTE can travel up to 31 miles. Electric power can also be saved – for example when driving to a zero-emissions zone. In electric mode, the GTE is capable of speeds of 81 mph.
Visually, the Golf GTE combines elements of the fully electric e-Golf and Golf GTI, with C-shaped LED daytime running lights and aerodynamic horizontal ‘fins’. Where the GTI features red, the GTE has blue accents, including across the grille and into the headlights.