Geneva Motor Show: Volkswagen to bring plug-in hybrid Golf GTE

Geneva Motor Show: Volkswagen to bring plug-in hybrid Golf GTE
Volkswagen will debut this plug-in hybrid Golf GTE at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. (Volkswagen)

Don't get attached to the new plug-in hybrid Golf that Volkswagen is bringing to the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. But let yourself get a little excited about what's under its skin.

Germany's everyman brand will use its March 4 press conference to debut the Golf GTE. It's the latest version of the new generation of Golf hatchback that's been on sale in Europe for almost a year and is headed to our shores later in 2014.

While VW says it doesn't currently plan to bring the GTE to the U.S. market, the hybrid powertrain that moves it will definitely land here. The running gear is essentially the same as that in the 2015 Audi A3 e-tron hatchback we recently drove.

PHOTOS: Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid

It could also underpin other upcoming Volkswagen and Audi products built on the same modular platform -- including future versions of the Jetta or Passat. A plug-in Passat would make plenty of sense for VW, given that competitors like the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion offer plug-in hybrid models right now.

The Golf GTE's power comes from two sources. The first is a 1.4-liter, turbocharged, direct-injected, four-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower. This is paired with a 101-horsepower electric motor fed by a 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery.

Total system horsepower will be 201, torque measures in at 258 pound-feet, and a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission specifically designed for hybrids will push all this to the front wheels.

The car will scoot from zero to 60 miles per hour in 7.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 135 mph. The car will hit 81 mph in electric power alone, and has an all-electric range of 31 miles. Total range is 584 miles, VW said.

The automaker worked to keep the weight of the liquid-cooled battery low. It's just 265 pounds of the car's overall 3,360-pound curb weight. This helps the GTE's efficiency and its handling.

Various driving modes including electric only and a performance-oriented GTE mode will alter the car's thirstiness.

The car will fully charge via a conventional wall outlet in three and a half hours. Using a public charging station or dedicated home charger cuts that time by about an hour.

The GTE will join other Eurocentric debuts at the Geneva show, including the new Audi TT and S3 cabriolet, the Ferrari California T, the McLaren 650S and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.