First, there were the all-new 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI models. Then came the diesel-powered Golf GTD. Now, Volkswagen will create a sporty-hatchback GT trilogy with the GTE.
GTE stands for GT Electric, and it will be the badge worn by Volkswagen's upcoming Golf plug-in hybrid model--distinct from "e-Golf," the model name for the battery-electric Golf that will be sold in the U.S. late this year or early next year.
2015 Volkswagen GTI (Euro spec) - Preview Drive, April 2013
That means motivation will come from a 1.4-liter direct-injected and turbocharged, four-cylinder gasoline engine with 148 horsepower, paired with an electric motor good for an additional 107 hp. An 8.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack provides electricity.
Since the gasoline engine and electric motor have different power peaks, their individual outputs can't just be added together. The GTE should have a total system output similar to the A3 e-tron's 204 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque.
That power is sent to the front wheels through a specially-adapted e-S tronic six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
That drivetrain will reportedly propel this plug-in from 0 to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 135 mph.
That means the GTE probably won't win a drag race against the non-hybrid GTI, but those numbers are fairly impressive for a car that claims to be sporty and efficient.
The GTE is expected to get 156 mpg on the European cycle, which is far more optimistic than the U.S. EPA cycle.
As with other plug-in hybrids, real-world fuel economy can also vary greatly depending on how often drivers take advantage of the GTE's 30-mile electric-only range.
It's unclear whether the Golf GTE will be sold in the U.S., although its Audi A3 e-tron cousin will be available here later this year.