The new Golf GTE is unlike any other hybrid. That is, a plug-in performance hybrid that’s capable of zero driving emissions, but can still knock your socks off. In the not too distant past, test drivers would groan at the mere mention of having to drive a hybrid.
You try telling that to the jammy so-and-so who got to thrash the GTE round Dunsfold. Its outing at the test track proved that it’s a hybrid that is able to be all things to all people and perfectly honours its hot hatch heritage, with an intelligence that’s evident at every turn. Whichever of its five modes you’re in, it feels like you’re driving the future.
The electric motor is perfect for cruising along as you please, but if you’re feeling the need for a boost, a press of the GTE button combines the driving force of the petrol engine and electric motor, doubling the power from 100bhp to 201bhp, and getting you from 0 to 62 in a mere 7.6 seconds. It’s not quite time travel, but it sure feels like it.
This all well and good, but questions still persist about how convenient would it actually be to own the GTE on a day-to-day basis? Well, the e mode setting allows you to get a whole day’s city driving done on one charge, with an intelligently recharging battery that’s highly convenient.
If the key decision makers in your life still need convincing, they won’t when you can roll seamlessly into a vacant electrical parking bay in a prime urban location. This really is a hybrid that lets you have your cake and eat it. One that has the benefit we all crave in these environmentally conscious times: a more responsible use of power.
You can engage hybrid mode, ideal for longer journeys, seamlessly switching between the electric motor and petrol engine to give you a combined range of 514 miles. You’ve got all the right-foot grunt you need, but with an enviable economy of up to 166mpg and CO2 emissions from 38g/km, it’s a more responsible way to drive.
“But what if you run out of charge in the middle of your trip?” Answer? It doesn’t matter. In battery charge mode, the petrol engine is engaged while the electric battery recharges using energy recuperation from braking and acceleration.
But the real excitement comes from pressing the GTE button and unlocking power that can take you all the way to 138mph. Although, to experience that at its best, you might have to head to Dunsfold.