Volkswagen will launch a plug-in hybrid version of its Golf to Europeans and Americans in 2014, possibly as a 2015 model year. It will be based on the same powertrain and platform used by the also-pending Audi A3 e-tron.
The VW promises impressive extended-range electric performance similar to what a Chevy Volt would offer, but surpassing it in some areas, while falling a tad short in others.
(Note: photo is of a standard Mk7 Golf. The plug-in looks quite similar with “Twin Drive BlueMotion” logos on the sides.)
A 1.4-liter TFSI engine delivering 148 horsepower plus 100 horsepower electric motor lets the series/parallel Twin Drive hybrid sprint to 62 mph in a reported 7.6 seconds, and crest to a top speed of 138 mph, well quicker than a Volt’s roughly 8-plus seconds/100 mph capability.
The Golf is said able to travel in all-electric mode up to 31 miles at up to 81 mph, which is close also to a Volt’s “38 miles” range at up to 100 mph rated under a different system in the U.S.
Of course drawing parallels between two otherwise unalike cars is only loosely possible due to the novel plug-in hybrid powertrains. The Golf will still be a sporty Golf, and makes use of not a CVT or variation thereof, but a six-speed e-Steptronic transmission to merge the gas plus electric components of the power mix through the front wheels
The vehicle can run on gas only, electric only, or both together in “boosting” mode. It will also have a “coasting” mode in which both motive sources shut off when the powertrain control computer senses the car has enough kinetic energy while traveling along.
A variation of the highly flexible MQB global modular platform will underpin the gas-electric Golf with a plug port. This platform is capable of forming the foundation for a wide variety of powertrain configurations and vehicle layouts from all-wheel-drive, front or rear wheel drive, and has the flexibility for natural gas tanks, if VW engineers desired, and battery packs of course, also.
Volkswagen Group overall is stating a wide variety of plans for electrified offerings, and we’ll be seeing more as it increases its commitment to different iterations of this bridge technology.