The Volkswagen GTE is a true hot-hatch hybrid
Though there is a growing squadron of cars that defy the notion, hybrids are still considered boring cars by many. Volkswagen is doing its part with a plug-in hybrid Golf, which it has dubbed the GTE. Yes, it slots into the hot hatch family sired by GTI, which in Europe also includes the diesel-powered GTD.
Drivers outside of that continent won't have access to the GTD, and similarly there are no plans to release the GTE internationally. So, when Volkswagen invited us to Germany to try the thing, we couldn't miss the opportunity to try out what could be one of the most enjoyable plug-in hybrids on the road.
First, let's get the details out there. The duo of powertrains includes a 148-horsepower, 1.4-liter, turbocharged, direct-injection TSI engine mated with a 100-horsepower electric motor. Mix the two together and you get roughly 200 effective horsepower routed through a six-speed, double-clutch gearbox. That's just 20 horsepower short of the current GTI, but there's also roughly 250 pounds in extra batteries, motors and electronics to haul around. That's a considerable penalty.
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