Volkswagen Golf GTE – World Debut at Geneva Motor Show


Golf GTE Live in Geneva

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

The Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid has made its worldwide debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

For plug ins, this is one of the most highly anticipated debuts of the entire show.

The sporty PHEV Golf GTE (GT Electric) features a 148 hp 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a 107 hp electric motor.

Here’s a look at the specs:

  • 0 to 60 mph: 7.6 seconds
  • Electric-only range: 31 miles (NEDC – about 20 miles on the US EPA)
  • 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
Golf GTE Live in Geneva

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

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

Pricing is unknown at this time, but we’re guessing it’ll be somewhere in the ballpark of $35,000.

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

Golf GTE Live in Geneva

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.

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31 Comments on "Volkswagen Golf GTE – World Debut at Geneva Motor Show"

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I thought the GTE plug in hyvbrid was NOT coming to the USA ?

word was only the EV Golf was coming……

I don’t believe that to be true. VW has never officially stated one way or the other in regards to US availability of the GTE. In fact, VW has never went on record saying anything about the Golf GTE and the US in the same sentence. If I were a betting person, I’d placed all my money on VW bringing this to the US.

In short, VW is demonstrating to the Big Three what it means when you are serious about electrifying your lineup.

“Late to the game”, whatever.

A few months after joining the game, they already have more serious offerings – in quantity *and* quality – than either Ford who’s been in the market 2 years, and GM (3.5 years). Not to mention the clueless Chrysler.

And it shows immediately in the sales numbers.

Sales numbers? This car isn’t on sale in Europe or the U.S. yet. What sales numbers are you referring to? I see this car with a big ‘0’ right now. Quantity? My local dealers have 0 plug-in VW’s available and who knows when they will. By comparison, if I look out the window from work right now I see a coworkers Volt, a 500e, along with 2 Tesla’s and a Leaf. So, I guess I don’t see anything from Ford outside at the moment but Ford started selling as many plug-ins as anyone in the U.S recently. VW does have some catching up before we can jump to conclusions. The fact is these other automakers (including Chrysler) have delivered a higher quantity of cars. When VW does bring these to the U.S., will all these models be 50 state right away? How many will they bring? The fact is we don’t know. They are more than 50,000 behind right now. Quality? This car’s 20 mile range would probably bring our EV% down considerably. I’d consider less range if it has 3rd row utility, but otherwise I’ll pass. Our Volt has been 100% reliable with 0 problems and its been high… Read more »

To short electric driving range.
I will buy an electric Saab instead (280km).

in what year or decade will an electric SAAB be available?

are you building it in your garage?

This month
I’ve found this on a ev forum:
Information about production start:

(Swedish text, use Google Chrome or Translate)
Short translation: ” Official production start will be in a few weeks and there will be some interior changes” the article was published 2014-02-07

There is a 200 cars testfleet going to China firstly… and then (almost?) all sales will be directed to China.
I haven’t see them having any plans of selling it outseide China yet.

That wrong they will sell them all over the world, but there are 200 preordered EV’s to China first. I’ve heard a radio intervju with the ceo of Saab just explaining that. (from 06-02-2014) the text (radio to text) is in swedish so you have to translate it (google chrome or translate)
And the driving range of 200km is wrong it should be 280 km instead.

The engine compartment is so full stuffed, every repair will be very time and money intensive.

Compare it with the easy accessible parts in the Soul EV

Not surprising. Hybrids have the compleity of both BEVs and ICEs. BEVs have significantly lower complexity than both. BEVs only need an annual check up and will probably have higher long term reliability.

The Volt has done pretty well on repairs and reliability in spite of the complexity.
I don’t see why VW should do worse.

They best way to look at PHEV reliability, IMO, is to realize that it’s a hybrid with only ~1/4 of its mileage going to the engine (okay, maybe 1/2 for this car, due to the small battery).

It should last a very long time. Sure, it’s more complex than a pure EV, but problems should occur far less frequently than with an ICE.

The Volt is only 3 years old, so there should be not much to repair yet. Wait until they reach 8+ years.

GTE has the charge port in front. That is the best place for it.

Agreed , front mounted charge port is the best and with all the Leaf owners out there it makes the most sense for a mfr looking to get conquest buyers from Nissan

Agreed, and they certainly have my attention for when my lease is up in 2015. The only thing I don’t really like is the fact that it has a gas engine in it. But for the looks and the performance, it’s definitely a car I would consider.

So get the E-Golf.

The E-Golf will not have the performance benefit of the GTE. It will likely be on par with my Leaf, and at that point, why not just buy out the lease?

Fair enough.

Photos of the trunk space please!!! I want to see how well VW has maintained their approach of keeping everything under the hood and under the floor, despite having two powertrains.

I’m kind of happy to see VW didn’t bother with DC fast charging on this product – it’s weird to me that Mitsubishi bothered with Chademo on the Outlander PHEV. I can’t imagine bothering to seak out and spend 20 minutes at a DCFC for my infrequent longer trips if I knew I had a backup engine anyways. I guess it can’t hurt, but it seems like a poor choice in terms of value engineering.

See chademo in Japan where the Outlander comes from… It’s a no brainer to include it.

good point

How is this drivetrain different than the A3 PHEV? Is it the same one?


Those who have claimed that VW are not interested in fuel cells are in for a disappointment:

‘As soon as developments make it possible, the first Golf with a hydrogen fuel cell will become part of the range.’ (PR)

Just as they weren’t early to market with BEV and PHEV, they don’t intend to lead from the front with fuel cells, but just like virtually every other automaker on the planet see them as having great long term potential.

If this is really going to be available in the U.S. it is backon my list as a potential Volt replacement. To be CLEAR my primary motivation in considering this car is not outright range, etc., but to increase the “fun factor” in driving. If this has a hint of the GTI driving dynamics while retaining some of the goodness of EV it will be a winner in my book. Worth a test drive regardless.

Perhaps you should consider paying the extra for the A3 E-tron, which has an identical drive train and is due in the States in the spring of 2015.
Here is a test drive – there are loads of others posted on the web:

yep, it is on the list too Dave. I was thinking the GTE might be a way to get the same drive train while saving some coin over its A3 sibling.

Welcome aboard ..VW
VW finally made a copy of Volt….
What took them so long?

Probably Engineering the plastic cheap enough to make it at German labour rates.

How is VW going to make money on this – the Brakes & Disc will last a long time – even with the standard VW short brake / disc life expectancy.

Then the backup motor – even if uses the customary 1L per 1000Km (Acceptable by VW standards)
If the owner drives manly on electric, Then
the average VW will still likely make it to the next Oil service without a top up – Shock horror!

If they sell a lot of these the VW servicing dealer will have not much to do 🙂