24.10.2019New VW Golf launched with two PHEV options
Volkswagen has launched its new Golf, the eighth generation of the best-selling hatchback. The new line-up will feature five electrified powertrains, though no pure-electric e-Golf, as VW promises a model bristling with tech.
The reason for no e-Golf replacement is the launch of the ID.3. The EV kick-starts VW’s all-electric sub-brand, and is Golf sized itself. Having two models of a similar size, target market, and cost would be rather redundant.
Instead, for the Golf, VW is pushing ahead with other forms of electrification. Three 48-volt will feature as VW launches the eTSI badge. This sees a beefed-up starter motor support a petrol unit producing either 110hp, 130hp, or 150hp. Efficiency is improved by around 10% claims VW, and responsiveness is improved.
More crucially to VW’s electrified aspirations are the plug-in hybrid Golfs due. The Golf GTE badge returns, but as a sportier model - a true alternative to the famous Golf GTI. Producing 245hp, the Golf GTE is complemented by a cheaper, less powerful model, for those prioritising efficiency over sportiness.
This ‘normal’ PHEV will produce 204hp, and both plug-in hybrid Golfs are backed by a 13 kWh battery, enabling an electric-only range of 37 miles on a single charge.
The rest of the range is made up of conventional petrol and diesel engines, outputs ranging from 90hp to 150hp initially. No doubt there will be additional GTI, GTD, and R models further down the line. TGI natural gas will be made available in certain markets, though the UK is expected not to be one of them.
Volkswagen is launching its We Connect and We Connect Plus functions on the Golf range, allowing it to be the first VW model to offer V2X connectivity. This vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity means traffic signals and information from vehicles up to 800 meters away are displayed to the driver. Benefits include improved efficiency, traffic flow, and safety warnings.
The cabin is far more digital than before, and represents a significant step forward for the Golf - impressive considering the previous version wasn’t at all bad. Behind the steering wheel are three panels that focus on the driver. This incorporate lighting controls on the smallest panel closest to the door, a large and comprehensively customisable digital instrument display, and a new infotainment system.
For automatic models, a small digital gear selector replaces the previously conventional stick, and the dashboard is far more stylish than the outgoing model’s efficient yet slightly dull affair. Particular attention has been made to making the digital controls easier to use on the move.
With more than 35 million sales over the years, the Golf is expected to continue its huge success story. However, it will have greater competition than ever before, not least from VW itself with the ID.3.