Volkswagen’s versatile 2015 Golf GTE plug-in hybrid has officially gone on sale in the UK.
Designed on the same Volkswagen MQB platform as the rest of the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf family, the 2015 Golf GTE combines a 75 kilowatt electric motor mounted inside the gearbox and 8.8 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack with a 1.4-litre, TSI direct-injection gasoline engine capable of producing 148 horsepower.
Complete with a six-speed DSG gearbox designed specifically for use with hybrid drivetrains, Volkswagen says the Golf GTE is capable of producing a total power output of 201 horsepower (150 kilowatts) and a maximum available torque of 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) when both engine and motor work in concert.
In all-electric mode, Volkswagen claims a range of up to 31 miles per charge are possible, although based on previous brief drives with the Golf GTE we’d suggest a real-world range of between 20 and 25 miles per charge is more realistic.
Unlike some plug-in hybrids however, the Volkswagen Golf GTE operates in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 81 mph, with the gasoline engine only kicking in under extremly heavy acceleration. Due to its small size, the battery pack can be recharged from empty too full in just under four hours with a domestic power socket, or two and a quarter hours from an appropriate 16-amp charging station.
On power up, the Golf GTE’s default is to enter into all-electric mode, using up the energy in its battery pack first before switching on its gasoline engine. It can also be entered at any point during the trip after engaging anther mode by pressing the mode switch.
Like most other plug-in hybrids on the market today however, it’s possible to enter into ‘Battery Hold’ mode, which allows the driver to reserve their car’s battery charge for later use in the trip.
There’s also a ‘Battery Charge’ mode, which makes it possible for the Golf GTE to use excess energy from its internal combustion engine to recharge the battery pack as it is driving along. While this will result in temporarily dropping fuel efficiency, it does make it possible to drive in all-electric mode more than once in a trip although any driving made in electric mode using power generated by the engine has obvious emissions implications from an environmental standpoint.
Read more: Transport Evolved