The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTE has the looks of the GTI we’ve come to love, along with the improved economy of a hybrid electric.
The era of the electric car is upon us, whether we like it or not.
We at Art of Gears are Luddites who prefer an internal combustion engine to the silent whir of a Tesla, but it’s useless to deny the impressive new developments in the realm of electric vehicles.
The Volkswagen Golf GTE is not a true electric vehicle, to be clear. It’s a hybrid, which Volkswagen has based on the eighth-gen Golf platform. The 2021 GTE will match the performance of its GTI brother, at 242 horsepower.
The power in the GTE comes from a 1.4-liter four-cylinders that makes 148 horsepower, which is boosted by an electric motor making 107 additional horsepower. The GTE can travel up to 40 miles on a single electric charge alone. The GTE also benefits in initial acceleration from the instant torque of the electric motor.
While Car and Driver reports that the GTE loses out to the traditional GTI in the 60-to-90-mph range, and tops out well below the upper speed of the GTI. The GTE, lugging around the extra weight of the electric hybrid system, also loses out to the GTI in the handling department.
In any case, the 2021 Golf GTE will not be making its way across the Atlantic. Americans will have to make do with the Mark VIII GTI and Golf R, which suits us just fine. The electric revolution can wait while we continue to enjoy the few hot hatches still available on American soil.