Volkswagen has been heading in the right direction, a direction that sees them as the leader of the EV market in the future, especially with the goal of adding as many as thirty new models that are built on the new MEB platform over the next several years. Even though they are ready to lead the way for EV models, VW has no intention of abandoning the models that have brought them so much success in the past and intends to make important improvements to several models including the Golf GTI which is our performance favorite.
If you had said something about adding a hybrid powertrain to the Golf twenty years ago we might have thought of the car as a sellout. The hybrid models of that time period weren’t exciting but they certainly gave us better fuel mileage to make them successful. These cars were typically wedge shaped to help with aerodynamics and improve the overall fuel mileage as much as possible on the road and they were also built lighter to save wherever possible. Since that time we’ve learned more about hybrid powertrains that we ever knew in the past and adding this to the GTI of today could be extremely exciting.
In today’s world we see adding a hybrid powertrain as a great way to not only improve fuel mileage but also create more performance off the line of the vehicle. Most plug-in hybrids and EV models have an advantage over gasoline only models because they have the instant access to the full torque number from the electric motors powering the vehicle. Many of our super cars of today offer the benefit of a hybrid powertrain to show us how they can provide the power and performance we want to enjoy on the road.
The conversation surrounding the GTI is the addition of a 48V electrical system and an integrated started motor and a mild hybrid system to help provide the dual benefit of improved fuel mileage and a performance increase. This would certainly make the Golf GTI a performance car that would be admired and desired by those who love a hot hatch and those who want to drive a car that’s more fuel efficient for the desire to save on the cost of gas and lower their overall consumption of fuel over the life of the vehicle they own.
Using an electrified system could bring in the Performance mode to the car that we’d love to enjoy. There may even be a turbocharger added to the package to allow a sportier performance on the road as well. These boosts could create an overall improvement in the power factor for the GTI to push it up to as much as 261 horsepower making it a car that can run as hard and as fast as the GTI Clubsport which isn’t offered in the US at all right now. This would make the drive more exciting and may see many owners scheduling time at the track with their new GTI higher performance car.
Right now the estimate for this new generation is still a few year away with a target of the 2020 model year. Other markets in the world already have the GTE which is an electrified GTI that’s fun to drive and uses the hybrid parts that we hope to have in the US eventually. The GTI is a car that we love to drive and one that offers us performance and fun on the open highway or at the track. Adding the instant power of a hybrid motor could be just enough to put this car into a category all its own as one of our favorite hot hatches.