Fleet News

Volkswagen to unveil 188mpg high-performance plug-in Golf

A new version of the Volkswagen Golf will use plug-in hybrid technology to achieve 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds with fuel consumption of 188mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 35g/km.

The Golf GTE is powered by a a 1.4-litre 150hp TSI direct-injection petrol engine and a 102hp electric motor.  Together, they combine to produce power of 204hp and a theoretical range of around 580 miles.

Using the electric motor alone, the GTE is capable of speeds of 81 mph. With the TSI engine as well, the Golf GTE can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and on to 135mph.

Torque is 258lb-ft, but the car also has the ability to achieve low fuel consumption with a combined cycle figure of 188mpg and CO2 emissions of 35g/km according to provisional data.

In pure electric mode the Golf GTE can travel up to 31 miles, depending on conditions, and the electric power can also be saved – for example if driving to a zero-emissions zone.

The 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged in around three and a half hours from a domestic mains outlet, or two and a half hours from a domestic wallbox. The battery weighs 120 kg, giving the GTE a total kerbweight of 1,520 kg.

The Golf GTE uses a six-speed DSG gearbox with a triple-clutch system specially developed for hybrid vehicles.  The electric motor is integrated into the gearbox housing, while further hybrid components include power electronics and a charger. An electro-mechanical brake servo and an electric air conditioning compressor make for energy-efficient braking and air conditioning.

Visually, the Golf GTE combines elements of the look of the e-Golf and the GTI. The front bumper features C-shaped LED daytime running lights, like those on the e-Golf, as well as aerodynamic horizontal ‘fins’, like those on the GTI.

Where the GTI features red, the GTE has blue accents, including across the radiator grille and into the headlights. The headlights, along with all lights on the GTE, are LED.  In the UK, 18-inch Serron alloy wheels will be standard.  The Golf GTE is available in five-door bodystyle only.

Inside as on the outside, the Golf GTE features blue highlights where the GTI has red.

This includes stitching on the steering wheel, gear lever gaiter and seats, and a blue stripe in the tartan pattern on the sports seats.  The eight-inch Discover Pro satellite navigation system with DAB radio and Bluetooth is standard, and includes bespoke functions for electric vehicles, including the ability to identify potential destinations on electric range, and electric charging points.

The GTE will also feature an e-manager which allows the driver to preset vehicle charging, as well as interior cooling or heating. These functions can also be operated remotely using the Volkswagen Car-Net app on a smartphone: a three-year subscription will be included in the UK.

The vehicle speedometer and tachometer are familiar, and the latter is supplemented by a power meter in the central display, which shows the status of the battery, whether or not power is being used and the intensity of any regeneration.

Full details including pricing will be available when the new Golf GTE opens for ordering in the UK in late August.  First deliveries are expected before the end of the year.

Login to comment


  • Rupert Russell - 21/02/2014 12:09

    This car won't go 188 miles on one gallon of fuel. Even in test conditions it might manage around 64mpg.(188 x 16/(31+16) ) You should clarify that the 188 figure is the weighted combined test figure. "Weighted" because the assumption for the test is that the car will be recharged with electricity every 47 miles.The NEDC test is based on the cars electric range plus 16 miles. This is intended to reflect how the car might be used, but makes it impossible to compare the resultant fuel consumption figures.

    • Simon Harris, deputy editor, Fleet News - 21/02/2014 12:29

      @Rupert Russell - Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately for all of us, the official test cycle figures are the only ones car manufacturers can publish. If they were to publish anything else as a fuel consumption figure, they would be breaking the law. However, plug-in cars are designed to work best using the plug-in charge, making them suitable for shorter journeys. We would question the wisdom of anyone choosing a plug-in hybrid who typically used their car for long motorway journeys. But judging by the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid we have been running for the last few months, which has been most often used for commuting with a 40-mile round trip and charging available at both destinations, we have had little difficulty in matching the official 148mpg, as recorded in the official combined cycle figure.

    • Andy Tibbatts - 21/02/2014 13:19

      @Simon Harris, deputy editor, Fleet News - I'd be interested to know how much electricity is used and the cost for charging your Volvo every night (real figures, not what Volvo make up...)? I'm assuming the 148mpg is only based on how much fuel it's burning and not taking the cost of electricity into account, it's not very economical if it costs £5 a night to charge!

    • Simon Harris - 21/02/2014 14:17

      @Andy Tibbatts - One of the charge locations is my office, so the trip home is subsidised by my employer. Currently, there is no BIK levied on electricity for for private use of a company car. And, obviously, the 148mpg is calculated according to the combustion of diesel. By the time I arrive home, I have around eight miles of range remaining - a quarter of the battery capacity. It takes three hours to recharge to full from this amount from a standard domestic supply. To be cheaper on fuel than the V60 D5 diesel Geartronic, my electricity would need to cost the equivalent of less than 10.81p per mile travelled. It's a fraction of '£5 a night' you suggest for the three hours the car is plugged in. But this is the type of use that these cars are designed for. For regular performance outside these narrow parameters we would always recommend an alternative. But it is useful to have greater range than the EV mode if required with the ability to refuel in minutes.

    • Rupert Russell - 21/02/2014 15:01

      @Simon Harris, deputy editor, Fleet News - Hi Simon, The car manufacturers cannot boast that a plug-in hybrid will do 188 mpg as in this case. They should use the words "weighted combined mpg" to help distinguish these figures from what most of us understand mpg to be. The word "weighted" is crucial in indicating that part of the journey is powered by electricity alone. Manufacturers have to provide some small print as well. The ASA upheld a complaint re the Ampera when Vauxhall did not make it clear that the fuel consumption figures were affected by electricity used. Since your readers expect mpg to mean miles per gallon on liquid fuel, it is confusing to use the term for anything else.

    • Andy Tibbatts - 21/02/2014 23:55

      @Simon Harris - I was being lazy and just wondering if you kept records of your pence per mile for the Volvo (I do for my company car, that’s how I claim my fuel costs for company mileage) but depending on the efficiency of the charger I’m thinking a full charge for the Golf would cost maybe £2.00 (even if it was 100% efficient it would be roughly 8.8(kwh) x 15p a unit so £1.32). The 31 mile range is probably based on ideal conditions (flat track, no wind and 30mph maximum speed no doubt…) so realistically you’re probably talking a real world range of maybe half what they quote. In my pessimistic little world that makes your electric only miles roughly 13p per mile, my Mondeo diesel costs about 15p per mile. I know the hybrid bit makes it much more fuel efficient than a normal petrol car, a colleague runs a Honda Insight and he reckons on 50-55mpg. The real sweetener as a company car is going to be the low tax bill but how about comparing the real world pence per mile fuel costs against a diesel Golf when you get one on loan? I’ve not seen anyone do this (have you? If you have I’ve missed it). I'm sure the marketing departments want us to assume electric cars are wonderful and cost nothing to run but I suspect that’s not the case at all!

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee