Volkswagen has announced its first ever plug-in hybrid estate and saloon. The Passat GTE promises a range of more than 620 miles on a 50-litre tank of fuel and full charge in addition to spritely performance.
The VW Passat GTE, which will debut at the Paris Motor Show on October 2nd, has a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine mated to an electric motor and 9.9kWh lithium ion battery. Maximum power and torque is 218PS and 400Nm, respectively.
VW claims the 2015 Passat GTE is capable of more than 141mpg and CO2 emissions of 45g/km. An all-electric mode means you can travel 31 miles without using a single drop of fuel. A full battery charge takes four hours and 15 minutes from a standard mains socket.
A six-speed three clutch gearbox (dual clutch and a disengagement clutch) specifically designed for the hybrid deals with gear changes. 0 to 62mph comes and goes in less than 8 seconds, while the top speed is 136mph.
Four driving modes are selectable. ‘GTE’ gives you maximum power and sportier configurations for the steering and accelerator. The default ‘E-Mode’ is electric-only, ‘Hybrid’ acts like a typical hybrid (regenerating energy when slowing down or braking), while ‘Battery Charge’ focusses on you know what.
Various additions like the fetching blue line on the chrome radiator grille, C-shaped LED daytime running lights and 17-inch Astana alloy wheels differentiate the Passat GTE. There’a also the usual Driver Alert System, Automatic Post-Collision Braking system and City Emergency Braking.
The interior is also unique to the car. It gets a 6.5-inch infotainment display, blue stitching on the steering wheel, GTE-specific gear knob with blue stitching, blue ambient lighting and an aluminium and gloss black dashboard finish.
There’s an option to have a 12.3-inch instrument cluster comprised a 1,440×540-pixel display if typical dials offend you. Here you can get navigation directions, check out the CD cover of an artist playing or check out a digital speedometer and tachometer among other things.
Owners of the VW Passat GTE will be able to control various functions using the Car-Net e-Remote app, including climate control, battery charge level and your last parking position, in case you forget.
The VW Estate GTE is available in estate and saloon forms. You’ll be able to order one in the UK from June 2014. No word on a price, but we know first deliveries will begin in October 2015.