Test: The VW Golf can also make a cavalier start as a hybrid


The VW Golf can also make a cavalier start as a hybrid

The thrifty athlete

The Golf GTE offers two things that previously seemed incompatible: It is an economical electric car and yet it is also a fast athlete. This makes it the new innovation in the field of compact cars. Source: Zoomin.TV


After the electric vehicles e-up and e-Golf, Volkswagen is launching the Golf GTE, the first VW with a hybrid drive that can be charged from a socket. The standard consumption of 1.5 liters is bought at a high price.

VW puts the Golf on a leash. Because the people of Lower Saxony are tired of the fact that the whole world is raving about the BMW i3 when it comes to electric cars from Germany, they are now taking a counter-attack at the charging station and electrifying no other car than the Golf.

After the purely electric e-Golf, which is therefore only suitable for small series and narrow niches, the German bestseller will also be available as a plug-in hybrid. And it is not only economical, but also attracts with a good portion of fun and sportiness. It is no coincidence that the abbreviations for him – GTE – refer to the GTI and GTD.

“Emission-free in the city and with a range of almost 1000 kilometers, it is still absolutely suitable for long journeys, it combines the best of two worlds,” says Development Director Heinz-Jakob Neuber, who believes that a concept like this can actually achieve a breakthrough.

In any case, it will not be due to the performance. Electrically, the hybrid with socket connection with its 102 PS and the spontaneous torque build-up of all Stromers drives as well as any other battery-powered car: It starts at the traffic lights with screeching tires, manages 130 things even without a combustion engine, and when the lithium-ion cells are in The floor of the car has been fully charged at the home wallbox after 2:15 hours, the electricity is sufficient for up to 50 kilometers.

Theoretically, a standard consumption of one and a half liters

The great strength of the plug-in model, however, is the interaction with the 150 hp petrol engine. Not only because the saver then becomes an athlete, suddenly creates as much fun as a GTD with a system output of 204 hp and 350 Newton meters and, for example, sprints from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.6 seconds.

Or because it drives away competitors like the BMW i3 at full throttle in the purely gasoline-powered GTE mode as quickly as a Porsche drives a Polo. No, if need be, it drives like a normal car: With an operating range of almost 1,000 kilometers, nobody has to look at the range and at a top speed of 222 km / h you can be in a bit of a hurry, the developers praise the concept that is intended to enable customers to make a smooth transition into the brave new world of electric vehicles.

You have to be prepared for a disappointment anyway: The standard consumption of 1.5 liters is a purely theoretical value, which is due solely to the flattering test cycle. In practice, the value is much more likely to level off at four or five liters. Most of the daily stages of the Germans should be electric anyway, because they are shorter than 50 kilometers and, VW expects, the combustion engine is not needed most of the time.

2000 euros more expensive than an e-Golf

As well as the Golf GTE drives and as advanced as the technology now seems – none of this will have a major impact on the battle at the charging station for the time being. This can only be achieved through prestige and price. And then the advantages of the Golf GTE over the i3 with range extender are no longer that great.

At 36,900 euros it costs 2000 euros more than the all-electric Golf and is pretty much in the middle between the 34,950 euros for the all-electric i3 and the 39,450 euros for the version with range extender.

Whether the body is made of carbon or steel, that should be comparatively irrelevant to the customer. And that VW, with a weight of 1599 kilos, comes surprisingly close to the 1315 kilos of the much smaller and inside much narrower i3 with range extender, testifies to a strict diet in Wolfsburg.

Unrivaled natural gas variant

After all, the 8.7 kWh lithium-ion battery in the Golf alone weighs 120 kilos. But even with subtle design modifications to the standard LED headlights, a blue line in the smooth grille and new badges all around, the GTE remains a Golf like any other and is therefore not as meaningful a statement to its neighbors as an i3.

Hoping for a breakthrough at such prices without political incentives is difficult. Even when head of development Neuber speaks of affordable technology and, above all, praises the low operating costs.

Because even if you can cover the 100 kilometers in the plug-in model in the e-Golf for 5.39 euros, you have to drive a hell of a lot to make the purchase worthwhile. Especially when you buy the Golf with a natural gas drive instead. With its 23,400 euros, it not only costs an estimated 10,000 euros less – it also creates the reference route for a fairly unrivaled 3.63 euros.

It could then become a boomerang, which VW actually praises as a great asset: That the Golf is the first car in the world to be offered from gasoline and diesel to gas operation through to electric and plug-in engines with all the relevant drives will.

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