Could your next Golf GTI be a GTE? VW developing plug-in version of iconic hot hatch

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Plug-in hybrids are everywhere these days. What was once a ploy by car manufacturers to keep the anti-carbon lobby from baying for their blood has turned into a viable selling point.

Thing is, most cars in the class are either about as exciting as going up an escalator (as is the case with the Honda Accord and Prius plug-in models) or are so far out of the reach of ordinary drivers as to be laughable (like the Merc S500 and the BMW i8). No one’s really made something fun that we can all aspire to.

Enter the Golf GTE. Yup, Volkswagen’s apparently working on a plug-in version of its superstar hot hatch, the GTI. According to Autocar, the powertrain is the same as that which appeared on the Audi A3 e-tron, which should be hitting the roads in a number of countries later this year.

What that means is that the GTE will sport a turbocharged 148bhp 1.4-litre four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine alongside a 107bhp electric motor, which will reportedly sit within the forward section of the gearbox.

Powering the electric motor is an 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack placed beneath the rear seats, where the fuel tank would usually be.

The GTE will supposedly be able to do around 50kms on electric power alone at speeds of up 130kph. A 0-100 time of 7.6 seconds is claimed with a top speed of around 218kph. The combined economy meanwhile is set to be somewhere around the 1.5l/100km mark, although as we all know those figures seldom tend to be matched in reality.



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