A planned performance plug-in hybrid called the the Volkswagen Golf GTE could inject so much-needed fun into the hybrid class of cars.While traditionally automakers have relied on forced induction to provide increased performance in compact sports cars, Volkswagen is looking to change that with a sporty hybrid that’s fun to drive.
The VW Golf GTE, which stands for GT Electric, will most likely come from a 148 horsepower 1.4 liter turbocharged engine mated to a 107-horsepower electric motor. That’s the same drivetrain powering the Audi A3 e-tron, a car that’s definitely coming to America. The front-wheel drive Golf GTE will have an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the rear seats of the new global platform, and together the hybrid drivetrain can supposedly push the Golf GTE from 0 to 60 MPH in 7.6 seconds. That’s about as fast the Euro-market turbodiesel-powered Golf GTD.
While hardly fast, it’s faster than many other hybrid vehicles on the market, such as the Toyota Prius, which takes about 11 seconds to reach 60 MPH. A six-speed dual clutch transmission will enhance the driving experience for a sportier feel compared to many hybrids, and the top speed is said to be in the 135 MPH area.
And what of fuel economy? The VW Golf GTE will supposedly be able to run at speeds of up to 81 MPH on electric power alone, and a European fuel economy rating of 188.3 MPG is more likely to translate into something north of 45 MPG in the real world. A 31-mile driving range should handle most trips without using a drop of fuel however, and the increased performance could open up some minds to the idea of a sporty hybrid car.
I’m game, so long as the price is right.