A car becomes an icon when its design DNA and character remain recognisable for decades. It is also important for an icon to provide fresh ideas in order to cope with the challenges of our time.
Just like the Golf GTI. For 44 years, Volkswagen has been reinventing this icon of sporty, compact cars while retaining the original concept – generation after generation. The eighth reinterpretation of the Golf GTI is now celebrating its debut. Newly designed and engineered – fully digitalised and networked. A Golf GTI that is fit for the modern era. The Golf Mk1 from 1976 has long evolved into a vehicle family. This was followed in 1982 by the first Golf GTD with a turbocharged diesel engine, and in 2014 by the first Golf GTE to feature plug-in hybrid drive.
And so it stands to reason that a new Golf GTD and a new Golf GTE are celebrating their world premières alongside the new Golf GTI. Three Golf variants, three characters, three efficient and clean drive systems – but one design and specification philosophy.
The plug-in hybrid drive of the Golf GTE essentially consists of a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine (EA211 TSI) with 110 kW (150 PS), the hybrid module with an electric motor (85 kW), a 6-speed DSG (DQ400e) and a new lithium-ion battery. The powertrain delivers a maximum power output of 180 kW (245 PS) and a maximum system torque of 400 Nm. Compared with its predecessor, the all-electric range has increased significantly to now around 60 km.
Volkswagen’s engineers have achieved the increase in range by improving the Golf’s aerodynamics and managing to increase the energy content of the battery by 50% to 13 kWh. It can be driven at speeds of up to 130 km/h in all-electric mode.
When the battery is sufficiently charged, the Golf GTE always starts in all-electric E-MODE. The drive switches to Hybrid mode if the energy capacity of the battery drops below a certain level or if the speed rises above 130 km/h. In Hybrid mode, the driver has the option of maintaining the state of charge using three symbols on the Infotainment system screen (the equal sign “=”), increasing it (up arrow “Ù”) or reducing it to a defined level (down arrow “Ú”). This makes it possible to drive into an urban destination area under electric power and with zero emissions, even at the end of a longer journey, if so required.
Whenever route guidance is active in the navigation system, the battery manager also predictively takes into account road and topographical data to ensure the set battery energy is available when you reach your destination. During this process, battery use is adapted on the basis of the route data in order to achieve an optimum electrical range.
In general, every new Golf is fitted with assist systems including the Lane Assist lane keeping system, Front Assist Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring, XDS electronic differential lock and Car2X (local communication with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure). Standard digital instruments and an infotainment system to suit the mobile We Connect and We Connect Plus online services and functions that have been integrated here. A multifunction steering wheel, single-zone automatic climate control (Climatronic), the Press & Drive comfort start system, a Bluetooth provision for mobile telephone, LED headlights, LED tail light clusters, LED daytime running lights, LED reading lights and two USB-C ports. This range of equipment is once again extended significantly for GTE.
On the exterior, the equipment outlined here is supplemented by 17-inch alloy wheels, a customised front section, a grooved rear diffuser, a standalone roof spoiler, the corresponding model logos, individual tailpipe systems, red brake calipers and sill extensions. The functions include sports running gear and the Keyless Access locking and starting system and associated lighting. In the interior, the top-of-the-range version of the Digital Cockpit (multiple screen configurations) and the 10-inch navigation system merge to form the Innovision Cockpit. The colour and graphics of the Digital Cockpit correspond to the respective model. In many other details, as is the case with the exterior, the Golf GTE is also differentiated by the blue colour assigned to the GTE drive system. All pedals are made of stainless steel.