Electric vehicles are really popular these days. Well, that’s if you’re from a country like me, Norway. The largest share of electric vehicles in Europe is sold in Norway. Leaving only some percentages of the sale to the other countries. A couple of weeks ago the total amount of electric vehicles tipped over 50.000. That’s pretty amazing, considering there is only 5 million people living in this long stretched country. I would like to tell you that Norwegians are extremely environmentally minded, like the green gods off Europe, but i don’t think that would be telling the truth. The reason is most likely these benefits made available by the government. No tax when purchasing new electric vehicles. Reduced road tax. No road toll, Free public parking, Free public charging, And to top it all , you can pass the long queues home from work, driving in the bus-lane 🙂
But enough of all this pure electric vehicles talk. That’s not for everyone. Most people owning an electric vehicle has this as a second vehicle (Or this as the primary vehicle, and a combustion driven vehicle as second vehicle). At least if you sometimes have to drive longer distances, there is those times the reach just wont be sufficient. Then how about combining those to into one vehicle? Well it has been done before, kind off.. like the Prius (shivers going down my spines). That just won’t get me exited at all, sorry. Many others have tried, but in my point off view, not pulled it off completely. It Need’s to be a plug-in hybrid if its suppose to make any sense.
Well how about the new Volkswagen Golf GTE? It’s a plug-in hybrid with a mix of a sporty hatchback. Not some boring Prius :). Combining a 150PS 1,4TSI, and a 102PS electric engine makes a versatile combination. Driving completely electric there is still plenty of power (320Nm), and its so nice an quiet driving electric. But if you enter the GTE mode, you combine the engines, giving you a system output 204PS and 350Nm. The torque is what impresses the most, even though the battery weighs 160 kg, and the vehicle total is 1,520kg. The torque curve is so consistently high, and really pushes you back in the seat when the electric boost kicks inn. It’s so much fun!
The GTE has a top speed of 222 km/h and accelerates to 100 km/h in just 7.6 seconds. In comparison, the GTI with 220PS goes from 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. In pure electric mode, it runs all the way up to 130 km/h. Picture below is of the GTE with the color carbon steel grey. This color is only available to the 3 GT models.
The interior also shows that this car is definitely in the GT family together with the GTI and GTD. The interior is just the same, but instead of the red stripes/details (GTI) or grey (GTD), it’s blue. Like shown here in the seat covers. Just in the same checkered seats like the golf GTI/GTD.
Shown here is the 18″ Nogaro wheels, that in my opinion looks great on the GTE.
The instrument might be unfamiliar to those newer driven an electric VW before, with its “Power-meter”. I really like that they put inn a tachometer, giving me a quick access to see if the engine is running. In the Audi A3 e-tron, with the same driveline, i missed this (You have to enter a menu to show the rpm)
Plug-in hybrid. This is what separates a hybrid from a plug-in hybrid. The possibility to charge the battery when parked. A normal hybrid charges the battery when braking (regenerative braking), or possibly by the engine in some cases (Obviously consuming more fuel, and not that environmentally friendly). The GTE packs a 8,8 Kw/h lithium-ion battery pack, giving you a maximum range up to 50 km pure electric driving. The available range off course depends on many factors such as for instance driving style, topology, outside temperature, but not the least which other electricity consumers you turn on. Heating or cooling definitely pulls a lot of power, and can lower the available range significantly. You better learn where the off button on the climatronic is, if you want to drive for longer distances electrically.
The power is transferred to the wheels via the DQ400E 6-speed DSG gearbox. There is 3 wet clutches. One connecting the TSI engine to the electric motor, and he 2 others are one for each input shaft in the gearbox. There is no conventional starter motor for the combustion engine, as the electric drive motor can start the TSI engine. Considering how many operations going on changing gears, and switching on/off the engine etc, the gearbox and hybrid drive changes is very smooth. Thumps up to the engineers behind this configuration.
Many small details making the GTE stand out from the regular golf’s. The GTE emblem, and also the seams with blue thread on the steering wheel, gear shifter etc.
The GTE button starts the GTE mode. Then the power from both engines are available. The steering stiffens significantly, giving you more feedback from the front suspension when driving in a sporty manner. There is also a sound generator making the engine sound more aggressive. If you order your car with DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control), also the shock absorbers goes to “sport mode”.
Shown is the 1,4TSI engine. The electric drive and gearbox can’t be seen here, because its tucked in lower down. The 2 additional electric units seen is the battery charger, and the power electronics.
There is 5 different drive modes you can use. With the GTE button you enter the GTE mode described earlier. When using the “e-mode” button you can switch between electric mode and Battery hold. In electric mode there is pure electric driving, unless you use the kick-down. This will result in the combustion engine starting, and you have the full 204 horsepower’s available. In battery hold mode, it tries to use as little electricity as possible, saving the power for later (For instance when needing the battery capacity later when entering an low emission zone in the city). From the hybrid menu in the multimedia device, you can enter 2 more modes. Hybrid auto, and charge battery. In the hybrid auto mode, it uses the electric engine at low speeds and small loads. But uses the combustion engine at higher speeds/loads. In Charge battery mode it uses the combustion engine to charge the battery, which in turn leads to higher fuel consumption. This off course is not the best way, but nice to have the function available if you need to top up the battery when your out of extra boost power 🙂
The front incorporates the same C-style shaped LED lights as the e-Golf and e-up! The car is also equipped with full LED headlights and rear lights. The ACC (Adaptive cruise control) system radar shown under the license plate is also a dream come true. Keeping your set speed, but automatically adapting to vehicles in front off you. Just sit back and relax 😉
A similar Blue light like shown here is also integrated in the door panels. Looks great at night.
Blue brake calipers. Not for everyone, but keeps the blue e-motion theme complete
The seats are really comfy, and have great side support when driving in a sporty manner.
Driving this great plug-in hybrid gave me a really fresh new feeling to this segment of vehicles. I can highly recommend it, and I’m exited to see how this type off vehicles will evolve in the future.
Hope you enjoyed, and be sure to drop by my website (www.kkmfoto.com), my automotive facebook (www.facebook.com/kkmfoto) and my facebook site for general photography (www.facebook.com/kkmfoto)
All the photos are shot with a Fujifilm XT-1, with either XF56mmF1.2 R, XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR or the XF 23mm f/1.4 R.