Volkswagen Spills Details on Soon-to-Launch Golf GTE Plug-In Hybrid


Golf GTE Prototype

Golf GTE Prototype

Volkswagen has officially announced that the plug-in hybrid Golf will be called the Golf GTE.

According to the automaker, the VW Golf GTE will launch in Europe in the second half of 2014, which means it’s less than a year away from hitting dealerships.

Volkswagen adds that the Golf GTE will feature a 150 hp 1.4-liter gas engine, along with a 109 hp electric motor.  Performance is expected to match the Golf GTI.

Golf GTE Prototype

Golf GTE Prototype

The German automaker lists some tentative specs for the Golf GTE:

  • 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
Golf GTE Interior

Golf GTE Interior

Details on the Golf GTE are scarce at this time.  However, we do know that it’s expected to be priced at ~£30,000 in the UK (converts to nearly $50,000 USD).

The Golf GTE will make its way to the US in either late 2014 or early 2015.  There’s no word on US pricing at this time.

Golf GTE Prototype Dash Display

Golf GTE Prototype Dash Display

Source: Automobilwoche via Ecomento

Categories: Volkswagen

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48 Comments on "Volkswagen Spills Details on Soon-to-Launch Golf GTE Plug-In Hybrid"

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Apparently, “erprobungsträger” (on the side of the car) means “testbed”, according to Google Translate.

I speak german and actually a better translation to english would be prototye or test car.

This is a wise move on VW part, marketing it in the same Bracket as the GTi, GTD, and now GTE will help absorb the cost in consumers mind. The price difference between making it being 7.6s, 0-60mph and 10s, 0-60mph is small, but the price difference is huge. That larger asking price will, instead of being spent on engine development, be spent on the hybrid system. Smart move.

There is also a nice effect that the car will receive more press in the inevitable 3-way shoot out between the models, and most importantly. . . The car will be receiving lots of enthusiast press, which will, hopefully, help further the acceptance of Plug-in cars. Remember that though the enthusiast reader/viewer might not be able to afford a GTi/WRX/Mazda Speed 3, she/he will still want to buy the lower cost version. Thus driving sales when a lower power, lower range, cheaper model comes to market.

Absolutely do not care for the old-world look of the instrument cluster.

I Agree!


But it’s great for conservative buyers. This will be a massive seller.

VW will find that to keep and attract new buyers, being Design And GUI-Conservative won’t help with marketshare. Analogue gauges are anachronistic for an EV / Hybrid. Tesla smartly abandoned many historical norms people have been enculturated to expect in a vehicle. Because the market apparently loves that fresh approach, I fully expect the trend will only continue.

So give us that 3D digital instrument cluster, VW… Before someone else does…

I don’t have a problem with it. In fact, I will take this interior over the Volt’s any day. I absolutely don’t like the Volt’s center console.

For VW this is about ease of assembly and sourcing. It fits into their larger MQB driven philosophy. Changing the programing and the back plate is pretty cheap and approachable for non-adopters. Both keys to the cars business case.

According to previous reports, “top” top speed is expected to be 135 mph. Hope that’s the right figure.
I remembered it was great even in speed-as-much-as-you-can Autobahn terms, so I checked it out.
The speedometer goes up to 260 km/h (161.5 mph). Should be a good sign… 🙂

Yes, you are right, that was a typing/info snafu – top speed is estimated at 135. /fixed…sorry for the confusion there

Sigh, 31 miles in Europe equals about 20 EPA. Please, someone make a high electric range PHEV.


Besides the Volt (I’m an owner). I’m always complaining about this.

Yep, and have you noticed every PHEV from Europe is estimated to have a 31 mile electric range. Like they all got together and agreed to make the same range PHEV.

I was thinking the same thing about all the BEVs on the market. It’s like Nissan/Ford/GM/Honda/VW/BMW/Mercedes all got together and decided 80 miles is the right range for everyone.

The 30 miles or rather 50 km range is based on statistics on how far people go in a day to cover a certain percentage of those trips (can’t remember the exact number though).

The 80 mile range on BEV’s is just strange though since most studies has resulted in an 130 miles (real world performance) range needed to cover most days of the year and to eliminate range anxiety during average days.

Actually no. Nowadays, vehicles are engineered to best match global market needs. Chinese government is pushing hard for PHEV technology favoring this in the CO2 fleet targets. PHEVs with a 50+km e-range get a 5-time multiplier. Therefore this is the target. (This is also the reason why the Mercedes changed the e-range now from the S-Class to the C-Class PHEV.

A car going 250 km on electricity + ICE is an EREV. That’s different from your standard PHEV.
The S-Class is supposed to be about 18-20 miles. But I haven’t seen any numbers on the C-Class.
I don’t really know what you want to say with the rest of your post…Or to be honest I don’t understand anything about what you wanted to say…

Standards are being co-ordinated between China and Europe:

I haven’t been able to track down where the 50km all electric range is specified, but it appears that that is a cut off point.

The S-Type did not make it, the smaller and lighter C-Type did.

That is the position as I understand it.
If you can track down any better references to exactly what is going on that would be very helpful.

31 miles on the European cycle will likely translate to 20-23 miles on the US EPA cycle. This car has not significantly over 50% of the Volt’s battery capacity. Also, isn’t this the identical drivetrain as will be in the Audi A3 eTron? Furthermore, you can’t quite compare it with the Volt from the standpoint of the size of the electric motor: The Volt is electric for 100% of the acceleration up to 100 MPH. No such thing with the VW/Audi/Porsche cars, just as in the case of the Ford and the Toyota Prius plug-in.

I think we are fighting price here… If you have a 20mile Golf with two drive trains selling for roughly the same as a 80mile Leaf or i3, the cost of adding another 8-10kwh of battery capacity just pushes the car out of making economic sense to the average buyer.

Would I like more range in a Fusion/GTE/Prius/C-Max? Yes, but would I pay another $5,000 dollars? Probably not, since having the petrol engine means I don’t need that utility. I would, however, pay another $5,000 for a larger pack in a Leaf/Focus/i3, because then I’m actually increasing my utility and range safety net. A 100-110 mile highway leaf with active cooling means I could reasonably drive from Seattle to Portland without a zillion CHAdeMO stops.

The converted (w/VAT) price isn’t competitive, but “would I pay another $5,000” for a larger pack??

$5,000 could buy an extra 10kwh, getting it close to 50 miles of AER. Answer: “In a heartbeat”.

Converted prices are notoriously bad, I was basing my price comparison off of the cost spread between a GTi ($25,000) and the more powerful Golf R ($34,000), in the USA. The US car will be assembled at the new VW factory in Mexico that just started producing Golfs this month. Thus lowering the price. Also the car will be left hand drive, lowering the cost yet again. And finally American versions of european cars are usually just cheaper, or de-contented for the US market. Our cars are cheap here, and we are used to that. It makes bringing over advanced cars difficult and a low margin proposition for the manufacture. But they are slowing figuring out how to do it, in VW’s case due to the drive for world auto domination.

We have a Sportwagon from Mexico, and its the German parts that are breaking, or throwing codes. But I agree. VW has been on a decontenting bender, since before the financial crisis. Drum brakes, on some cars? “Leatherette”, w/o a leather option?

With direct injection and lots more coming from small displacement engines, I think people are treating power as horsepower, while what many of them like is the torque. I’ve had 135mph cars over the years, when injection was still in the manifold, and the amount you needed to “get on” the 16 valves, and “wind it out” was really fussy by today’s standards. But they had the HP.

I think it’s antithetical for a hot hatch to be a cool cucumber, EV. Part of the problem they seem to be shooting at solving..

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

What’s the 0-60 in electric-only mode?

Also, that top speed is pretty embarrassingly poor.

81 miles per hour all electric – top speed is actually a very respectable 135 mph – little typo sold the VW short there for a bit, (=

The 109hp figure is reasonably close to a base model Jetta S with it’s 115hp 2.0L I-4. The weights too are pretty similar between the cars. So just porting over the Jetta S figure, we get 10.8 seconds. Not bad historically, but not great considering the high power cars most american’s drive and believe are ‘slow’.

How fast do you need to go?

8.8kwh, color me surprised.

That size now. When denser cells come out, just upgrade the pack. The point is the vendors need to build the car design and capability now and then bump battery cell tech when it is ready.

The VW group apparently now have a battery which is around 80% more energy dense, as they are now OK’ing the Audi R8 E-tron for production as they are able to do decent range.

If that battery chemistry is good for the rather different demands of a PHEV, it may mean that in 3 or 4 years time VW can offer a choice of battery packs at different cost in their PHEV cars, with the more energy dense one good for around 80km or so on the NEDC.

This will go head to head with C-Max Energi and upcoming Focus Energi. If Ford’s new generation does not move the battery from the trunk to under the seat it will lose out to the Golf.

This should hit the states after the upcoming 2015 Focus Energi plug-in hybrid, riding on the the same drivetrain as the C-MAX Energi. That should have an MSRP to match Ford’s target, the Prius pug-in at $29k.

21 EV miles EPA
85 top EV speed
620 total range
7.6kWh battery
141hp engine
118hp electric motor
100 MPGe

C-MAX Energi is already set to launch in Europe this year. And the Focus Energi will also compete with the Golf GTE globally. But at $18k to $20k less, the Ford plug-ins seem to have a substantial price advantage.

I happen to think that about 20 miles of AER is the current sweet spot for PHEVs. It keeps the weight and base MSRP down to a reasonable level (hopefully sub $30k) so that mainstream buyers don’t instantly reject it, improving performance and gas mpg, while allowing most stop and go driving or that on urban/suburban streets to be electric – even in the U.S., there are few cities that are 20 miles in diameter. And if there’s workplace as well as home charging, a high % of all commutes can be covered on battery alone.

If Volt owners are doing 2/3rds of their miles electric, then a 20 mile range PHEV should be able to do about 40%, as shorter trips make up a large % of total trips. The smaller battery also limits intrusion into the cargo and/or passenger area, which has been the Volt’s (and both Ford Energi’s) biggest disadvantage vs. the conventional competition. Not that this battery is any smaller than the Fords (a bit bigger in kWh, 8.8 vs. 7.6 IIRR), but hopefully it’s better packaged so it doesn’t intrude.

I think the idea here is to support the driving in the city ordinances of Europe where they want future cars to run emissions free in city centers and on the highway with a hot engine, they can get 44-50 mpg or more on their way to the city.

I agree that is probably the case – the EU Volt/Ampera had a 4th driving mode (charge sustain?) that the US version didn’t (but now does, I think). That driving mode was specifically designed for the driver to choose whether to use the battery or not, so that they would have enough charge when they enter the zero emission zones.

The new VW platforms allow both PHEV and BEV versions to have little or no intrusion on the passenger or load space compared to the petrol and diesel versions.

Oh, and there’s one other major advantage of a ca. 20 mile-range battery; there’s absolutely no need to get a 240 V circuit and EVSE put in; you can get a full charge overnight on 120V. This greatly reduces the hassle factor for anyone considering going electric, and makes these cars much easier for someone renting a home to justify. I think it’s a mistake to hold out for purity, especially considering the many limitations of current affordable BEVs from a mainstream perspective. We should be trying to get as many people as possible into some kind of EV as painlessly as possible. Give them a taste and they’ll be happy to go all electric once technology/mass production/infrastructure improves to where affordable BEVs provide acceptable utility as a sole car. Or perhaps FCEVs or FCHVs will do so; despite their lower energy efficiency and currently high cost they have desirable operational advantages (longer range, fast refueling, heat as a byproduct so no worries about using heat/defrost) over current BEVs, and similar advantages were the reason ICEs overwhelmed BEVs the first time around. FCEV/FCHVs have even further to go (especially in regards to cost and availability of fueling infrastructure) than BEVs… Read more »

Sorry, but your first point makes no sense:

You can get a full 20 mile charge overnight on 120V with an 80 mile battery also. It will even charge faster because there is less resistance at low soc.

But if you have more time you would get more ev-range.
You could also justify going to 240V, but you would have no disadvantage, compared to the smaller battery, by staying with 120V.

Depends on the length and hours of the off-peak (or even super-off-peak) window that the utility has. Many people in San Diego have a quite limited SOP window. Obviously, if cost and additional weight are not a problem then you can go with the largest possible battery, and just accept whatever charge you can. But those two issues _are_ a problem, both in convincing people to buy the car in the first place (MSRP) and then in getting the best highway mpg. For those who want and can pay for a bigger battery, by all means provide it, but let’s give people the option. For my own needs, I do little city driving, but lots of long freeway/highway trips in mountains and cold temps. Carrying around the excess weight of a larger battery makes no sense either from a performance or economic standpoint, and maybe not from an environmental standpoint either, as the excess weight will decrease my gas mileage. Much as I’d prefer to go direct from ICE (I drive a Forester) to BEV/FCEV, it’s just not practical at this time. A car like the A-3 E-tron Sportwagen, or better yet a Jetta E-tron AWD Sportwagen would do a… Read more »

I prefer PHEVs & EREVs with 16kwh batteries; to get the full benefit of Fed. Tax credits. Also, after driving our Volt for a year, we could probably stay 99% all-electric around town with 60 miles AER. There is no way I want to go backwards with AER, especially at that expected $$$. It’s all good though!

We need companies to provide a spectrum of AERs in their PHEV offerings. Re tax credits, those will be expiring in not too many years as each company reaches the 200,000 threshold, and we have to look ahead to that time. It will be essential to lower the MSRP significantly if these cars are to compete with ICEs and HEVs, because as it stands now none of them are cost-competitive in TCO with a comparable HEV or ICE; the payback period is too long. Unless we can get the payback down to say 3 years or less by the time the credits expire, these cars will not sell to mainstream buyers.

Teslas are already price competitive within their segments, but that’s EVs…

Ford has already established parity, but in the luxury line: the MSRP of the Lincoln MKZ hybrid (Focus-sized) is the exact same price as the non-hybrid MKZ.

Surprise, surprise, Ford is selling over 20% of MKZs as hybrids (last I knew, that may have changed). That is a whopping ratio of hybrid/non-hybrid of the same make. It is also the only hybrid I know of that starts at the same price as the non-hybrid version.

Either that is an excellent example of markup on luxury vehicles, or perhaps, because the sales volume of Lincolns is so low, Ford can accept a loss on the MKZ hybrids (I have no idea if they are losing money on the MKZ hybrids or not).

And the funny thing is that the MKZ hybrid barely matches the MKZ performance…the base model has the 2.0L EcoBoost, and the upgraded model has the 3.7L V6, the same engine in the base Mustang.

The £30,000 price quoted in the article raises the questions:
Is this including 20% VAT?
It is before or after the £5,000 subsidy available in the UK?

Costs for the US can’t really be guessed from it without that information.

The 50km EV range for PHEVs is likely the outcome of European or German regulation, with cars over that qualifying for counting as zero emission vehicles or some such, although I have not been able to track down the specific regulation.

I did find out that Europe and China are co-ordinating their vehicle emission regulations.
50km EV range whilst it may be a little short for American needs should be fine in more dense cities in both places, so as it will cover most everyday driving is a sensible place to start PHEVs from, and they can get economies of scale by designing for both places at that EV range and size of battery.

Just another car to make up some CO2 numbers, There is absolutely no innovation, why bother.
The Volt & Ampera are still the only cars worth talking about, except for Tesla that is.