The Volkswagen Golf GTE Sport concept is a lightweight, all-carbonfibre three-door with a 280km/h top speed, 4.3sec 0-100km/h and zero emissions capability for up to 50km.
Revealed at the Worthersee annual Volkswagen meet, the brand is going deep into the future of what the humble hatchback Golf may look like, in a variant said to bridge the gap between road cars and motorsport.
What you get is a 1.6-litre TSI turbo engine from the Polo R WRC car, producing 220kW and 400Nm. A front electric motor mounted within the housing of the six-speed dual-clutch DSG and developing 85kW/330Nm helps the petrol engine power the front wheels only. A second, rear-mounted electric motor with 85kW/270Nm drives the back wheels only, and together you have the total 295kW/670Nm all-wheel drive Golf GTE Sport powertrain.
As the first Golf with three motors, Volkswagen is touting the “electric propshaft” as its own for-production patent. When battery charge is low, the petrol engine will act as a power source and supplier of energy to the front electric motor, which itself now only becomes a generator to (with no mechanical connection, only via wires) feed the rear electric motor. That way power to every 20-inch tyre (235mm front/275mm rear) is always maintained.
There are buttons for GTE Mode (all systems on max performance), Hybrid Mode (switching between petrol engine and electric motors for performance/efficiency) and E-Mode (electric running).
Along with lightweight carbonfibre construction, Volkswagen claims a focus on aerodynamics, optimum weight distribution and low centre of gravity to ensure the 4.12m-long Golf GTE Sport is ready for track lapping.
Lift a gullwing door and there are five-point belts on the racing bucket seats, paddle shifters behind the steering wheel and plenty of carbon and microfibre. There is even a button to deploy a fire extinguisher, and a lap timer and counter for the number of laps you’ve tallied, the latter also providing a virtual indication of the best driving line for a particular race track.
When you’re not chasing racing lines, the Golf GTE Sport is claimed to consume just 2.0L/100km – not bad for a two-seat racer. Thanks to increasingly stringent emissions regulations, this is a view to how the Volkswagen Group will produce sports cars in the medium to long term.