Hybrid Volkswagen Golf GTE revealed

The petrol-electric VW Golf GTE will offer a mix of speed and fuel economy

The Volkswagen Golf GTE will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The petrol-electric hybrid is set to offer performance that gets close to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, while returning economy that even the economical VW Golf BlueMotion diesel can’t match.

The VW Golf GTE is powered by a 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, which combine to produce 201bhp. That means it'll do 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 135mph, which should make for quick and easy overtaking.

But, the clever thing about the GTE is that it combines this performance with the ability to return up to 188mpg and emissions of a road-tax busting 35g/km. Volkswagen tells us that the car can run for up to 31 miles on electric power alone at speeds of up to 81mph. Using both petrol and electric power, it has a maximum range of 583 miles.

The car’s battery can be fully charged using a domestic three-pin plug in just 3.5 hours – or 2.5 hours when using a VW-supplied wall box or public charging station. If used for covering short distances, which make up the majority of trips, the Golf GTE could conceivably be used without ever running on petrol, by simply recharging the battery after every use.

Volkswagen is selling the GTE as an economical alternative to the VW Golf GTI or VW Golf GTD, so its design mirrors the sporty looks of both models, but with blue interior and exterior trim – rather than the GTI’s touches of red. With this in mind, the GTE gets a blue bar on its grille, bigger side-trim panels for a sportier stance, a subtle roof spoiler and large 18-inch alloy wheels. The GTE also gets unique C-shaped daytime running lights and powerful LED headlights.

It’s more of the same inside, too, as the red trim you would expect to see in the Golf GTI morphs into blue details in the GTE. So, the GTE gets blue stitching for the leather steering wheel, leather gearshift knob, and floor mats. The GTE also gets the GTI’s trademark tartan sports seats, but with blue-stitching in place of the traditional red trim.

Specification on UK cars will match the GTI, meaning the GTE gets the premium 8.0-inch touchsreen with 3D sat-nav, DAB radio, climate control, as well as active cruise control that can follow the car in front at a safe distance, before returning to a preset cruising speed when the road is clear. A unique feature of the GTE is the ability to control the car remotely via a mobile phone app to, for example, pre-set the car’s heater to warm the interior before use.

The GTE is set to sit between the Golf GTI and the new VW Golf R in the range, so expect a list price of around £28,000 (after the Government's £5,000 grant for electric cars) when order books open in late August. The first customer cars are set to be delivered in late November/early December 2014.

For all the latest Volkswagen reviews, visit the Carbuyer Volkswagen reviews page.

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