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VW announces prices for plug-in hybrid Golf

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Though most hybrids place economy above performance, the new plug-in hybrid Golf GTE shares DNA with the sporty petrol Golf GTI and diesel Golf GTD, according to Volkswagen. True to its sporty billing the GTE sprints to 62mph in a speedy 7.6 seconds – practically identical to the GTD’s figure – though it is capable of combined fuel economy of 166mpg. Emissions stand at a meagre 39g/km – meaning that drivers can tax their car for free and benefit from Congestion Charge exemption.

Unlike the petrol and diesel models, however, the GTE also offers the prospect of emissions-free driving around town – thanks to an electric motor which helps out the turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine – with the car capable of covering up to 31 miles on electric power alone at speeds of up to 81mph. Make use of the petrol motor, though and you can travel up to 580 miles between refills, addressing the ‘range anxiety’ that afflicts drivers of purely electric models that have to be recharged after as little as 100 miles. With petrol and electric power drivers can either recharge the batteries by plugging the car into the mains or top up the petrol tank.

The Golf also shares much in common with the petrol-electric Audi A3 e-tron, which went on sale last year. Where the Golf differs, though, is when it comes to fuel economy; thanks to the standard-fit 18-inch alloy wheels, the Golf returns 166mpg compared to an even more impressive 176.6mpg for the Audi (which is fitted with smaller – and presumably lighter – 17-inch alloy wheels). The Audi can’t compete in terms of price though, with the Golf being nearly £2000 cheaper to buy at £28,035 (after you take into account the government’s plug-in car grant).

Recharging the GTE to make use of the car’s 31-mile electric range takes around three hours 45 minutes from a standard domestic socket and two hours 15 minutes using a domestic wall box charger. The GTE comes in five-door form with a standard six-speed automatic gearbox. Standard equipment includes a touchscreen media system, Bluetooth and a digital radio. Opt for the electric car-specific sat nav and you can find the nearest charging points and highlight which zones are within electric-only range.

Unlike the fully electric e-Golf (which is on sale at 25 dedicated VW showrooms), the GTE is on sale now at all Volkswagen dealers, with the first models arriving with customers in March.

Author: Christofer Lloyd

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