Volkswagen Golf GTE Gets Revealed


The upcoming VW Golf GTE plug-in hybrid has been revealed in these images leaked ahead of the vehicle’s official debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

Fittingly, the sporty PHEV Golf has been given a name that follows in VW’s tradition of GT + some other letter.

GTE, which stands for GT Electric, features a 148 hp 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a 107 hp electric motor.

Golf GTE

Golf GTE

Here’s a look at the specs:

  • 0 to 60 mph: 7.6 seconds
  • Electric-only range: 31 miles (NEDC)
  • 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery
  • Top speed in electric mode: 81 mph
  • Top speed: 135 mph
  • Total range: 600 miles
  • Recharging time of 2 hours 240-volt 16-amp


As we previously mentioned:

Now that we know that the GTE is being compared to the GTI, we perhaps can zone in on price. The VW GTI starts at a reasonable $25,000 in the US. A loaded GTI just barely cracks past $30,000. We suspect that VW will price the GTE above the GTI, but by how much?

While VW has release no further details on price, we get the sense that the GTE will be more expensive than a Nissan LEAF, but significantly cheaper than a BMW i3.  We figure $35,000-ish US sounds fairly accurate.



The Golf GTE will make its way to the US in either late 2014 or early 2015.

Look for us to bring you more details from the GTE’s live reveal in Geneva in March.



VW press release on GTE reveal:

New plug-in hybrid marries sustainability and performance

  • Golf GTE can be driven up to 31 miles in all-electric mode; the total theoretical driving range is 584 miles
  • European Driving Cycle combined fuel economy of 157 mpg
  • System has 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque
  • GTE is the third GT in the Golf model series, following GTI and GTD
  • Golf GTE has a top speed of 135 mph and accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.6 seconds

Wolfsburg / Geneva, March 2014 – Volkswagen is the first automaker worldwide to offer a model line with a full range of conventional and alternative powertrains. The new Golf GTE plug-in hybrid, which will be presented at the Geneva International Motor Show (March 4 to 16, 2014) is the fifth powertrain to be offered in the Golf, adding to gasoline, diesel, CNG and full electric versions. The Golf GTE has an NEDC hybrid combined fuel economy rating of 157 mpg (equivalent to 35 g of CO2) and has an all-electric range of 31 miles along with an overall range of 584 miles.

GTI, GTD, GTE. The Golf GTE name is in line with the GTI and GTD abbreviations-two sporty icons of the Golf range. The first GTI in 1976 invented the term “hot hatch” and is currently the most successful compact sports car in the world. The “I” in the name stands for electronic fuel injection while the “D” in GTD, introduced for the first time in 1982, stands for diesel fuel injection. The latest versions of these two best-selling Golf sports cars were introduced in 2013. Now Volkswagen has transferred its sporty compact car philosophy to a third model-the Golf GTE.

The new Golf GTE has two engines: a1.4-liter148 horsepower turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine and a 101 hp electric motor. These combine to provide the stated system power of 201 hp. If the electric motor is the sole source for propulsive power, the Golf GTE is capable of speeds of up to 81 mph. When the full power of the system is harnessed, the GTE sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and achieves a top speed of 135 mph on the autobahn and race courses. Of more significance is the superior pulling power of the Golf GTE thanks to its alliance of a gasoline engine and electric motor that produces a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft. This torque sets this first “GTE” apart from other plug-in hybrid models.

Despite its power and torque, the Golf GTE remains one of the world’s most efficient cars. If you mainly run short distances, you can drive in emissions-free all-electric mode for days, weeks, and months. The battery takes about three and a half hours to charge fully from a conventional wall outlet.

If the battery is charged using a wallbox or a public charging station, the charging time is shortened to approximately two and a half hours. Thanks to the control options on the Golf GTE, the driver can also ensure on longer trips that only the electric motor is used in an urban area.

The automobile revolution has a name – MQB. The variety of products in the Golf lineup- TSI (including GTI), TDI® (including GTD), TGI (powered by CNG), e-Golf, and Golf GTE-is made possible by the modular transverse matrix, abbreviated to MQB. This modular technology platform, initially introduced with the current Golf in 2012, is synonymous with an automotive revolution because Volkswagen engineers have created the prerequisites for a high-volume model, such as the Golf, to accept all drive types. This explains why Golf models with gasoline, diesel, natural gas, electric and hybrid drives can be manufactured from bumper to bumper at Volkswagen factories. As soon as developments make it possible, the first Golf with a hydrogen fuel cell will become part of the range.

Golf GTE plug-in hybrid system

As mentioned, the new Golf GTE is driven by a 148-hp TSI turbocharged and direct-injection gasoline engine and a 101-hp electric motor. The electric motor is supplied with power from a high-voltage 8.8 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that is charged from a socket behind the VW logo in the radiator grille. The battery weighs 265 pounds, or about eight percent of the GTE’s 3360-pound curb weight. The GTE has a six-speed DSG® automatic transmission that was developed specifically for hybrid vehicles.

Volkswagen integrated the electric motor in the transmission housing. Additional hybrid drive components also include the power electronics (which converts the battery’s direct current to alternating current for the electric motor) and a charger. An electro-mechanical brake servo and an electric air-conditioning compressor safeguard optimal and energy-efficient operation of the brakes and air conditioning, especially for the GTE’s “e-mode”.

The Golf GTE can be driven in various intuitively named modes. For instance, the driver can push a button to intentionally switch to the “e-mode” which makes the Golf GTE a zero-emissions vehicle. The driver can also use the button to switch to “GTE mode”, which activates the sporty side of this new Golf.

Design and features

The Golf GTE contains a pioneering, environmentally friendly, and sporty plug-in hybrid system. All of this is combined with a suspension that offers equally sporty handling and high levels of comfort.

Exterior. Volkswagen Head Designer Klaus Bischoff’s crew created a look that merges GTI insignia with those of the e-Golf, creating an unmistakable identity. Klaus Bischoff explains the differences: “The presence of the electric drive is visually expressed by the prominent C-signature of the daytime running lights on the Golf GTE. Meanwhile, all other front design elements bridge to the GTI.”

In those places where red dominates on the GTI, blue is used in the GTE. Bischoff continues: “A radiator crossbar running into the headlights provides further sporty accents within the context of Volkswagen electric mobility.” Like the e-Golf, the four-door Golf GTE will launch with LED dual headlights as standard. The turn signals, parking light, and smoked numberplate lighting also use LED technology. Side skirts and a roof-edge spoiler provide further parallels with the GTI and GTD. Meanwhile, the aerodynamic 16-inch (standard), 17-inch, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels were designed especially for the GTE.

Interior. Like the exterior, the sporty interior of the Golf GTE reveals a clear relationship to its other two GT series counterparts. However, just as on the exterior, the interior’s red accents have also turned to blue. Klaus Bischoff says: “Volkswagen’s e-mobility color of blue creates attractive contrasts in the car’s seating, decorative seams, and material design. Moreover, the blue ambience lighting builds a visual bridge to the world of e-mobility.” The light blue decorative seams on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, on the edges of the floormats, on the seats, and on the shifter grip are perfectly matched with the exterior features of the Golf GTE.

Golf GTE-specific instruments and displays

Touchscreen. All Golf cars are equipped with a touchscreen. In the case of the Golf GTE the high-resolution 6.5-inch “Composition Media” radio system is standard. The “Discover Pro” radio-navigation system is available as an option. Both units are equipped with many additional functions on the GTE. These include a “driving range monitor”, an “energy flow display”, “zero emission statistics”, “e-manager”, and-with the optional navigation system-the “360° driving range”. Additionally, all Golf GTE owners can download the “Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote” app to their smartphone free-of-charge and use it to control functions and access information.

Driving range monitor: shows the current electric driving range of the GTE as well as the additional driving range potential from deactivating any auxiliary features that consume electricity.

Energy flow display: shows the power flow when accelerating (blue arrows) and when braking or regenerating (green arrows) as animated graphics.

e-manager: can program up to three departure and charging times; the Golf GTE ensures the set temperature and battery charge status at a defined time. Parallel to this, heating or cooling of the interior can be activated using standard air-conditioning while charging. Air conditioning therefore does not hinder the battery charging process, thereby extending the electric range.

360° range: the current radius in “e-mode” is shown by the 360° range in the local map. The inner area shows the range for an outward and return trip, the outer area the range for a one-way drive. Charging stations can be displayed and incorporated in the route as intermediate stopovers.

Car-Net e-Remote. Using the “Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote” app it is also possible to make several of these settings and requests for information via a smartphone or the Car-Net website. In detail, the app can program the departure time, air conditioning, charging the battery, accessing vehicle data, and the vehicle’s status.

Power meter. The power meter supplements the tachometer on the left-hand side of the instrument cluster; it displays how much system power is currently being used or the intensity of battery regeneration. The speedometer remains on the right-hand side. The color display which is located between the power meter and the speedometer (multifunction display “Plus”) also permanently shows the electrical driving range and the current operating mode.

Source: Autocar

Category: VW

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37 responses to "Volkswagen Golf GTE Gets Revealed"
  1. Ted Fredrick says:

    Nice alternative to the Volt

    1. DaveMart says:

      Its a lot more performance oriented, and can seat 5 as the battery is less intrusive.
      Bring on the Volt II!

    2. EV says:

      wouldnt exactly call it “nice”

  2. MDEV says:

    Very nice car, I wondering why they don’t push the electric miles to a 50 to make the difference.

    1. DaveMart says:

      They are rating the EV mileage so that they hit 50kph on the NEDC cycle, like most European plug ins are doing.
      I believe, although I have not managed to track down the source data, that that puts them over the bar for some of the European standards which they need to meet for favourable treatment.

      In the US 35 miles or so might meet more typical commutes.
      That does not mean that that is the case everywhere.
      Due to excellent public transport and more compact cities most German commutes are shorter, and the annual mileage is made up by more long distance journeys.

      I don’t know but I imagine that goes for Japan in spades.

      Car companies seem to be specifying their PHEV cars primarily to meet the needs of their home markets.

      There are two additional advantages to a relatively low EV range/
      Batteries are still expensive, so that the payback on a modest battery is actually better than on a bigger pack, unless you do the 40 miles or so every single day.
      By specifying small, they can at a later date without changing the packaging offer increased capacity in the same form if they choose.

      Not everything has to be Texan-sized, as not everywhere is Texas! 😉

  3. vdiv says:

    It is a step in the right direction though instead of a 148 hp gas engine and a 107 hp el. motor it should have been the opposite, a 148 hp el. motor and a 107 hp or smaller gas engine. That battery capacity also needs to go up, at least double. It is a proven by the Volt formula for over 3 years now, why is VW so irreverent when it comes to plugins?

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      Yes, we have a GTE with 20 EV miles, Volt with 38, I3 REx with 75 (guesstimate). The GTE doesn’t have enough EV miles for me.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        It will come out in time to get thrown under the bus by Tesla’s model E.

        1. Max says:

          i am sorry but two different vehicles a tesla is obviously better than almost any electric vehicle. different ball park mate.

  4. Suprise Cat says:

    Where do you plug it in? At the gas tank? And again a death blow at the Combo consortium as they make another car without quick charge capability.

    1. Mike I says:

      I heard the plug-in socket is behind the emblem in the grille. With such a small battery and the PHEV system, there is no need for quick charge. 6 to 7kW on board charger would be nice, but they quote 2.5 hours charge time, which is about 3.5kW. I suspect in EU it will be 220V @ 16A. I heard there is no plan to bring this car to America.

      1. Brian says:

        I don’t know where you heard, but this article claims otherwise:

        “The Golf GTE will make its way to the US in either late 2014 or early 2015.”

        1. MTN Ranger says:

          Per the Autoblog article: “Sadly, VW tells us it has exactly zero plans to bring the GTE to our shores.”

          1. Brian says:

            So where does your information come from, Eric? Why do you claim it’s coming when Autoblog claims to have been told it isn’t?

            1. DaveMart says:

              I posted at ABG:

              ” Sadly, VW tells us it has exactly zero plans to bring the GTE to our shores.’

              It has?
              What was this, a special communication to ABG?
              All that I have heard is that they have not confirmed release or dates for the US, which is a different matter to telling someone that they have no plans to do so.

              Initially the similar A3 E-tron is to be released in the US, next spring, but that does not indicate that the VW version will not go to the US.

              Since VW have confirmed that they see PHEVs not BEVs as the most immediate prospect it seems unlikely that VW will not be represented in the sector at the Golf level.

              So, is this information that VW have positively confirmed that they have no plans, or a supposition based on their not having released any plans?’

              No reply.
              They are in the habit of invention at ABG rather than in the business of providing information.

              1. Eric Loveday says:

                Which is why we aren’t going to use ABG’s non-sourced info. The GTE will come to the US, unless VW tells us otherwise.

                1. DaveMart says:

                  Good call.

                  The Golf BEV is surely going to be first, to partner the Audi A3 E-tron PHEV, but that does not mean that no Golf PHEV will follow.

      2. Suprise Cat says:

        Especially with the smaller battery it should charge must faster then 2.5 hours. Why have the Europeans made the 3 phase type 2 plug, if they all use single phase chargers?

  5. Brian says:

    I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of this car. VW does seem to get one thing that GM missed with the Volt – with two semi-powerful motors, you can connect them both to the wheels and get exciting performance. Ford did something similar with the Energi. GM and BMW are following much closer to a purist approach – make the car an EV first, and then add a generator to keep it going.

    I for one would prefer to drive a Volt, but then again I’m an EV enthusiast. It will be interesting to see what the general public choses.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      The Volt does have and use two motors, but I hear ya with the performance. While it’s no slouch, they could’ve easily improved their 0-60 time on the Volt if they wanted to, just with software.

      I guarantee the Volt could do 7.6 seconds, if they got rid of the “nanny” software that limits acceleration from a stop. I don’t see my display reach 110kW of power being applied to the motors until I’m traveling over 25mph in my Volt.

      1. Brian says:

        Very true. I was more referring to the parallel versus serial hybrid debate. In a serial hybrid, you have this somewhat powerful engine that cannot use its power to increase performance. In a parallel hybrid, you tend to have an undersized electric motor. The parallel hybrid typically pops out of all-electric mode when you gun it. The question is this: would you prefer more all-electric performance (acceleration/top speed/range), or more hybrid performance (with both the electric and gas motors going). Personally I would prefer the former, but I know plenty of people who would prefer the latter.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Okay, I guess I did completely miss that. Since the Volt can connect both its motors to the wheels when the engine isn’t running, it didn’t seem that aspect was “missed”

          I’m with you now, sort of. 😉

          1. Brian says:

            My original post was slightly misworded. What I’m getting at is the ability to use both motors at the same time. It turns out that the Volt’s hardware is capable of just that, but it needs to be modded.

            A little birdy pointed me to this video of someone who claims to have made that mod, and gets a 0-60 time of 5.5s. Now that’s respectable 🙂

  6. Anton Wahlman says:

    Anyone care to guess where the EPA will certify this car? 15 miles range?

  7. Anton Wahlman says:

    As best I can tell, this is the identical car (under the skin) to the 2015 Audi A3 plug-in hybrid, correct?

    1. pjwood says:

      …same battery size as the A3, other E-trons, the Panamera S-E Hybrid, and 918. Did I forget any others?

      1. Felix says:

        Same as the A3. Panamera and 918 use completely different systems / batteries / engines each.

  8. PHEVfan says:

    They’re going to have to price this a lot lower than $35K to make any significant sales. The specs on this are nearly identical to the Fusion Energi, and that starts at $34.8K. The highest end Leaf is still under $35K, and lower models are under $30K.

    1. DaveMart says:

      Anyone trying to put much in the boot of the car is likely to disagree that the specs are nearly identical to the Energi! 😉

  9. pjwood says:

    Is VW expecting to hear “Less battery, more engine”? Hiding 8.8kwh is, what, an oversized suit case? I pull up in my Volt today, and there’s three Tesla’s, and a Prius. Done. That’s three that probably didn’t need the watts, and one that was probably done as it sat, at 10AM. Even the Volt can be acused of squating, after around noon. These VWs will simply be more chaff in the way of an effective L2 infrastructure.

    Maybe that was the plan?

    1. Brian says:

      I highly doubt VW is planning on interfering with public L2 infrastructure. Their goal is to have zero intrusion into the passenger / cargo area. They probably fit as much battery as they could and left it at that.

  10. ClarksonCote says:

    31 miles on 8.8kWh seems very doubtful.

    1. DaveMart says:

      Probably around 22-25 miles on the EPA.
      That doesn’t mean that the NEDC test is unrealistic, which a lot of Americans incorrectly infer.
      Driving in Europe is different to in America, mainly due to the lower urban speeds and not having many urban motorways.

  11. James says:

    Multi use platform – blah blahhh. I just think all these manufacturers are cowards.

    Tesla shows them the way – but their way is to squeeze battery packs into crevices
    in their ICEs.

    Toyota proved one major part of the puzzle by making proprietary hybrids in Prius.
    Now Prius is an entire line of models!

    Will GTE come here? Will it not? Hmmmm… If they sold it here, I would test drive
    one that is for sure. But I’m not buying a PHEV or EREV for hot 0-60 performance,
    or over 120mph speeds. I’m just not. It’s about using little or zero gasoline in a
    car I’m proud to own that doesn’t look boring, stupid or plain.

    Looks to be another 20 mile EPA AER hybrid. It has a plug, and makes more
    sense than an i3, so it’s not exactly a bummer – but it is nearly an overpriced

    Volts still look pretty smart for the money – very smart, actually. At this point,
    rather than dump Volt completely as we know it, I may even trade mine in
    in a couple years for the same capability at today’s pricing with three-across
    seating in back. See how my expectations are diminishing, GM?

  12. cab says:

    Unfortunate that we have to choose between performance and EV range…only Tesla and aybe the i3 get it right, and both of those cars have challenges…

  13. EV says:

    those seat designs look like my pajamas

  14. EV says:

    all the lame teenagers and younger guys that drive this car, mod it and think their cool have ruined this cars image for me

    not a fan of the design regardless