Plug-in Hybrid Volkswagen Golf Expected in 2015
by Zack McDonald: HybridCars.com
Slated to debut for 2015, Volkswagen says that its seventh-generation Golf will feature a slew of powertrain options—including a plug-in hybrid version that Auto Express recently rated 5-stars after briefly driving an early prototype. The plug-in hybrid Golf will join the forthcoming 2013 VW Blue E-Motion electric as one of two electric-drive variants on the carmaker’s most popular vehicle.
The prototype plug-in hybrid Golf is based on the currently available Golf platform—not on the Golf VII vehicle—but its powertrain is the same as the one in development for use in production versions of the Golf and other plug-ins. That powertrain features a 1.4-liter TSI turbocharged gasoline engine and an 80-kW electric motor. For the next-generation production version, the powerplants will sit on Volkswagen’s new Modular Transverse Matrix platform (abbreviated MQB in German,) which will allow the company to drop an array of drivetrain configurations into any MQB-based vehicle.
Volkswagen claims the plug-in hybrid Golf will offer up to 30 miles of electric-only range, which is similar to the Chevy Volt. Furthermore, VW notes that its plug-in Golf should be rated at approximately 117 MPGe U.S. (based on European test results) and emits 46 grams per kilometer of CO2.
“On the move, the plug-in Golf is very impressive indeed. Under most driving conditions it’s effectively an electric car—and you really need to press very hard on the throttle for the petrol engine to cut in at all,” according to Auto Express. “In town, it’s fast enough for you to breeze through traffic. Plus, the motor is so powerful, the engine is barely used on high-speed roads.”
Volkswagen expects the Golf Plug-in to be priced similarly to its turbocharged Golf GTI model, which currently starts at just under $24,000. That’s an impressive price point that should make the car competitive with other electric-drive options like the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt and Ford Focus Electric.
A closer-to-production Golf Plug-in concept is scheduled to be shown at the 2012 Paris Motor Show this September.