Volkswagen Golf GTE pictures and eyes-on: Mean meets green

We first wrote about the VW Golf GTE in late February when the hybrid car was announced. But after seeing it at the Geneva Motor Show it's impressed our retinas enough to feel the need to feature it once again.

It's not the first electric car we've seen from Volkswagen, with the curious yet quite wonderful XL1 a favourite test drive of ours from last year.

READ: VW XL1 first drive

However, the VW GTE lands in a wholly different place. As the Golf GTi is one of those petrol-head cars that has a special place in many minds, the GTE has big boots to fill while representing electric land. But as technology evolves and green laws become more stringent, brands must adapt, which is where the GTE - the "E" for electric - finds its place. And finds it with style.

Visually the differences between GTi and GTE aren't huge, which is certainly for the best as an iconic brand needs to retain its signature style. The GTE maintains that typically "mean" look with those evil-eyes LED headlamps, and yet the white and electric blue trim and more cutting angles in the bodywork certainly give the car its own new-age aesthetic.

And while it looks wonderfully mean, this motor is all about the green. The GTE is a plug-in hybrid with a 1.4L TSI engine and electric motor able to chuck out 200bhp. It's got enough power and torque to put down a 0-60 in 7.6-seconds so, despite being slower than its GTi petrol-only cousin, is still nippy enough. On electric alone the top-speed is 81mpg, pushed to 135mph when the petrol kicks in as needed for overtaking and the like.

Although it's not GTi quick, the GTE really comes into its own when on mileage. A massive 188mpg fuel efficiency and 35g/km of CO2 emissions makes it a viable prospect. And when it comes to charging it up you plug in behind the iconic VW symbol at the front of the car. How cool is that?

Its bringing VW into the electric age with style, and we're interested to see just how far the German brand can push its green ethos over the coming years.



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