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by Tim Beissmann

Tagged a sporty plug-in hybrid, the Volkswagen Golf GTE will join the existing GTI and GTD  variants in the Mk7 hatchback range at next month’s Geneva motor show.

The Golf GTE – the ‘E’ stands for ‘Electric’ – combines some of the sports styling cues of the Golf GTI hot-hatch with the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain of the Audi A3 e-tron that’s due to launch later this year.

The Volkswagen Golf GTE pairs a turbocharged 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 75kW/330Nm electric motor, which combine to produce 150kW of power and 350Nm – leaving it just 12kW shy of the regular petrol-powered GTI, but matching it for torque, while conversely it’s 15kW up but 30Nm down on the diesel GTD.

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The electric motor takes its power from an 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery that is charged from a socket hidden behind the Volkswagen badge in the radiator grille. The motor is housed within the Golf GTE’s six-speed dual-clutch automatic DSG – the same number of ratios as the GTD, and one down on GTI.

Volkswagen claims the Golf GTE can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7.6 seconds (matching the A3 e-tron, and just 0.1sec slower than a GTD) and power on to a top speed of 217km/h.

The manufacturer also claims an ultra-frugal combined cycle fuel consumption of 1.5 litres per 100km and average CO2 emissions of 35 grams per kilometre, compared with a 4.2L/100km sticker on the GTD.

Volkswagen says a full recharge from a wallbox or public charging station takes approximately 2.5 hours, and provides a pure-electric range of 50km and – with a full tank of fuel – a total driving range of 940km.

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The car maker has not released specific details about the GTE’s chassis at this stage and its similarities with the GTI or GTD, but says the suspension tune offers “sporty handling and high levels of comfort”.

A blue radiator and headlight crossbar replaces the GTI’s red strip and GTD’s chrome strip, while the headlamps, indicators, parking light and number plate lighting use LED technology. Side skirts and a roof-edge spoiler provide parallels with the other GT models. ‘Aerodynamic’ 16-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 17s and 18s optional.

Blue highlights also feature on the steering wheel, gearlever, door inserts and tartan upholstery. A 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system combines the usual audio, climate and connectivity functions with a number of hybrid-specific functions, including an energy flow display and a sat-nav function with a 360-degree circle around the car showing how far it can travel at any given time.

A ‘Car-Net e-Remote’ app allows drivers to program a departure time and air conditioning, and view charging, vehicle data and vehicle status information from their smartphone.

Volkswagen Australia told CarAdvice last month when rumours of the GTE were swirling that is was too early to say if the GTE would be considered for our market.




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