Volkswagen is the first carmaker worldwide which can now offer all the current pertinent drive types in a single model series. Background: the German company will present the new Golf GTE with a plug-in hybrid drive at the Geneva International Motor Show (March 4 to 16, 2014) as a world premiere and at the same time round-off the model series with a fifth drive type (petrol, diesel, natural gas, electric and plug-in hybrid drives). The Golf GTE operates with a combined consumption (NEDC for hybrid vehicles) of 1.5 l/100 km (equivalent to 35 g/km CO2) as well as an all-electric range of 50 kilometres; the total driving range of the 150 kW / 204 PS Golf GTE is 939 kilometres.
GTI, GTD, GTE. The name of the Golf GTE is in line with the abbreviations GTI and GTD - two sporty icons belonging to the Golf range. GT stands for Gran Tourismo, a synonym for sportiness. Back in 1976, the first GTI was the original in this class; today it is the most successful compact sports car in the world. The "I" in the name GTI stood and stands for the electronic fuel injection. In 1982, the GTD united the GT concept with diesel fuel injection for the first time; a second GT bestseller was born. The latest versions of the two Golf sports cars - the GTI and the GTD - were introduced in 2013. Now, in 2014, Volkswagen has transferred its GT philosophy of compact sportiness to a third model - the Golf GTE.
The best of two driving worlds. The new Golf GTE is driven by two engines: one 110 kW / 150 PS turbo direct fuel injection en-gine (1.4 TSI) and one electric motor with 75 kW / 102 PS. These two engines combine to provide the stated system power of 50 kW / 204 PS. If the electric motor is the sole source for propulsive power, the Golf GTE is capable of speeds of up to 130 km/h. When the full power of the TSI is used, the GTE sprints to 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds; the Volkswagen achieves a top speed of 222 km/h on German motorways and race courses. However, the "V/max" is of secondary importance. Of more significance is the superior pulling power of the Golf GTE thanks to its alliance of a petrol engine and electric motor that produces a maximum torque of 350 Nm. This torque sets this first "GTE" part from plug-in hybrid models from all other competitors in its class.
Zero-emission and long-distance vehicle. Despite its power and torque, the Golf GTE remains one of the world's most efficient cars. If you are mostly out and about on short routes daily, you can drive all-electrically with zero emissions for weeks if necessary. In the evening, you simply charge the battery from an ordinary domestic mains outlet in about three and a half hours (until it reaches 100 per cent of its charge capacity) and you are done. If the battery is "refuelled" using a wallbox (for the garage at home) or a public charging station, approximately two and a half hours suffice for full charging. Electrifying: thanks to the intelligent control options for the Golf GTE, the driver can also ensure on longer trips that only the zero-emissions electric motor is used in what could be an urban destination area. This means that the Golf GTE is a dynamic and extremely economical all-rounder for long trips and at the same time a zero-emission vehicle.
The automobile has a name - MQB.
With the Golf GTE, Volkswagen has closed the circle which incor-porates all drive systems which are relevant today. Volkswagen is following this path in order to utilise the potential of all drive types and at the same time - depending on the individual re-quirements - enabling it to offer a Golf ideally tailored to each customer's needs. This variety of products - the Golf TSI (in-cluding GTI), Golf TDI (including GTD), Golf 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 a synonym for an automotive revolution because Volkswagen engineers have created the prerequisites for a high-volume model, such as the Golf, to adopt all drive types. This explains why Golf models with petrol, diesel, natural gas, electric and hy-brid drives will 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 of drives which are already state-of-the-art today.
Golf GTE plug-in hybrid system
Drive components. As mentioned, the new Golf GTE is driven by one 110 kW / 150 PS turbo direct fuel injection engine (1.4 TSI) and one electric engine with 75 kW / 102 PS. The combined system power from both engines is 150 kW / 204 PS. The electric motor is supplied with power from a high-voltage lithium-ion battery; the capacity of this battery which is equipped with liquid cooling is 8.8 kWh. The battery is charged from a charging socket behind the VW logo in the radiator grille. The battery weighs 120 kg, the Golf GTE a total of 1,524 kg. The gearboxes used by Volkswagen are an automatic shift and a 6-speed DSG with a triple clutch developed specially for use in hybrid vehicles. Volkswagen integrated the electric motor in the gearbox housing. The further hybrid drive components also include 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, including in what is known as e-mode, in which just the electric motor powers the Golf GTE.
An electric car at the push of a button. 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-emission vehicle. In all-electric mode, the GTE can reach a maximum speed of 130 km/h; its maximum range in "e-mode" is 50 kilometres (if the battery is fully charged beforehand and dependent on the outdoor temperature and driving style). The driver can also use the GTE button to switch to the mode named after the car, the "GTE mode", which activates a very sporty side of this new Golf.
Golf GTE design and features
Technology and styling harmonised. The Golf GTE contains a pioneering, environmentally friendly and at the same time sporty plug-in hybrid system. All of this is combined with a suspension which offers equally sporty handling and high levels of comfort. This dynamic technology package is integrated in a car which convinces with its classy design and a intuitively designed world of controls.
Exterior. Volkswagen Head Designer Klaus Bischoff's crew created a look that merges GTI insignia blend with those of the e-Golf, creating an unmistakable identity. Klaus Bischoff explains the differentiations: "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 section design elements bridge to the GTI."
Red turns blue. In those places where red dominates in the GTI, blue is used in the GTE. The Head of Design continues: "A radiator crossbar running into the headlights provides further sporty accents within the context of Volkswagen electric mobil-ity." Like the e-Golf, the four-door Golf GTE will launch the market with LED dual headlights as standard. The indicators and parking light will also use LED technology. The smoked number plate lighting also uses LED technology. Side trim panels on the sills and a roof edge spoiler with side flaps provide further parallels with the GTI and GTD. Meanwhile, the highly aerodynamic 16-inch (standard), 17-inch and 18-inch aluminium wheel rims 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 counter-parts. However, just as on the exterior, the interior red touches have also turned to blue. Klaus Bischoff: "Volkswagen's e-mobility colour 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 colour of the light blue decorative seams on the leather steering wheel, on the surrounds of the floor mats, in the seats and on the gear shift trim as well as blue decorative ele-ments on the gear shift grip are perfectly colour matched with the Golf GTE's exterior details."
Golf GTE specific instruments and displays
Touchscreen. All Golf cars are equipped with a touchscreen. In the case of the Golf GTE it is the high-resolution 6.5-inch display of the "Composition Media" radio system that is standard. The "Discover Pro" radio-navigation system is available as an option. Both units are equipped with many additional functions in the GTE. These include a "driving range monitor", an "energy flow display", "zero emission statistics", "e-Manager" and - with the optional navigation system on-board - 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. An overview of the supplemental functions of the radio and radio-navigation systems:
Driving range monitor: shows the current electric driving range of the GTE as well as the additional driving range potential from deactivating any auxiliary consumers.
Energy flow display: shows the power flow when accelerating (blue arrows) and when braking with regeneration (green arrows) as animated graphics.
e-Manager: can programme up to three departure and charging times; the Golf GTE ensures the set air conditioning and battery charge status at the time defined. 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 driving radius in "e-Mode" is shown by the 360° range in the local map. The highlighted area describes the all-electric driving range for a one-way trip. Charging stations can be displayed and used in route calculations.
Car-Net e-Remote. Using the 'Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote' app it is also possible to make several of these settings and information requests via a smartphone or the Car-Net website. Specifically, the app gives access for programming the departure time, air conditioning or battery charging as well as accessing vehicle data and the vehicle's status.
Power meter as central instrument. The power meter supplements the tachometer on the left-hand instrument side; it also shows whether the high-voltage battery is being charged by regenerative braking or energy is being drawn from it. That is, the driver sees on this power meter how much system power is currently being used or at what intensity power is being regenerated. The speedometer remains on the right-hand side. The colour 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. The lower segment of the multifunction display appears in a separate LED field - after starting the engine - along with the word "READY" which shows that the electric motor is ready to drive.
TDI, TSI and DSG are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG or other companies belonging to the Volkswagen Group in Germany and other countries.
All fuel economy figures cited in this press release are estimated values as of February 2014.