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Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion: Prototype Drive Report (Video)

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2014 Volkswagen Golf blue-e-motion prototype – Copyright High Gear Media

2014 Volkswagen Golf blue-e-motion prototype – Copyright High Gear Media

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Driving pre-production prototypes of new electric cars is part of life here at GreenCarReports, as it enables us to give you the best possible evaluation of an up-coming new car before it hits the dealer lots. 

Recently however, we got a chance to sit behind the wheel again of the Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion, a car we’ve been keeping our eyes on for the past few years, but one which will never make it into production. 

At least, not in its current state. 

Like the BMW ActiveE and its MiniE predecessor, the Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion is a limited-run test vehicle that Volkswagen is using as a test-platform to develop future all-electric vehicles. 

With a 26.5 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and 85 kilowatt motor, the car we drove was identical to the one we drove last year.

Of course, it’s worth noting that that means it was also identical in drivetrain to the Audi A3 e-tron currently being tested in very limited numbers by Audi.

Less aggressive in its acceleration from standstill to some of the cars we’ve driven, we were particularly impressed with Volkswagen’s complex regenerative braking system. 

Based around a pair of paddle-shift-style levers on the steering column, the Golf Blue-e-motion allows the driver to easily control the amount of regenerative braking applied on accelerator lift-off. 

By easily allowing the driver to select how much regeneration is applied, the VW Golf Blue-e-motion is a delight to drive on mixed roads, allowing coasting where permissible while also recapturing the maximum energy during braking without needing to use the brake pedal.

In fact, the complex regenerative braking controls are the best we’ve seen in any electric car, and highlight the level of work that Volkswagen has put into this prototype, and hopefully future models. 

Which brings us neatly to a simple, pointed question: Will Volkswagen bring an all-electric Golf to market? 

Sources at Volkswagen told us that current plans are to introduce and all-electric Golf towards the end of 2013 as a 2014 model, based on the soon-to-be-launched Golf MK VII. 

As of yet however, VW hasn’t officially confirmed this publicly. 

Given the almost production-ready impression we got from the Golf Blue-e-motion, we hope VW does bring its intuitive and innovative braking system to production in a future electric car. 

For now however, we’ll have to wait to see if that really happens, or if we’re just looking at yet another potential compliance car

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Comments (9)
  1. I'm starting to get sick of compliance cars. The major manufacturers show the car to us, get us excited, and then only lease the car in limited markets. They show us that they can build the cars and then choose to do little with them. And as a result the electric car advances slowly, they need to show some commitment.
     
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  2. Well, "compliance cars" don't make money. They cost a lot to keep up. Sure, they can increase their volume but until battery cost drops, it is still costly for auto makers to fully dive in. Automakers don't have enough leverage to control how expensive batteries are. EV/hybrids sales traditionally track inversely with oil/gas price...
     
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  3. I would still like to see each company start out with at least one electric model that can be purchased at any dealership. They shouldn't just sit around and wait for cheaper batteries if they start now they can start evolving the technology. Sure cars like the Leaf are pricey for a compact car but some people are willing to pay more to go electric sooner rather then later.
     
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  4. CDspeed, why exactly should OEMs be expected to lose billions just to allegedly "start evolving the technology"? How's that working out for Nissan so far? The fact that Honda, Toyota, GM, Ford, Chrysler and the German OEMs aren't maing in volume now should tell you that they're not willing to gamble billions immediately just to supposedly improve technology that won't be shared, anyway.

    I want more EVs and choice, too, but expecting companies to potentially lose billions when they can learn almost as well from lower volumes and losses, I don't think that's realistic at all. GM, Chrysler, PSA, Renault, all losing money now or coming out of recent bankruptcy, European market the worst in over 20 years. Hyundai not even bothering yet, etc...
     
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  5. Ok fine never mind then.
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  6. This is good information but poor audio and video. It\\The images need color and exposure correction. There are very few cutaways and too much talking head. The audio is irritating and tinny and needs sweetening. The entire piece looks amateurish. Next time, High Gear, hire a professional videographer and editor, and present a polished piece. It'll do wonders for your credibility.
     
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  7. @Johnny: You have now said this about many of the video segments we've put up. If you care to provide us with the $5K-$10K per segment it costs to hire a professional video production crew--or fund one of our editors to spend several hours on fixing all aspects of a 5-minute segment--we'll be happy to produce them to your exacting standards. Otherwise, I'm afraid what you see is what you're going to get. Glad you liked the content, though.
     
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  8. First, let me say that I'm a fan of the site. I am annoyed at the dumbing down of production values not only on the Internet, but now on broadcast reality shows by major networks. Shop around a bit and you might find a competent videographer/editor to add a great deal of class and polish to your productions for less than $1k. The Cycle World website started with crappy videos produced by the guy in accounting with a camcorder. Now they're putting out quality videos with a professional touch, and it really adds excitement and validity to their publications (http://www.cycleworld.com/videos/). Quality isn't cheap; it's priceless. You'll get there.
     
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  9. you should have ended with 'it will never make it into production'. that seems most realistic given VW's attitude
     
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