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VW Golf Plug-in Hybrid

We get behind the wheel of a prototype of the plug-in Golf, which sets a new eco benchmark

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The plug-in Golf looks set to be a huge success. You can complete most short journeys on electric power, but you have the benefit of a petrol engine to take you further – plus it drives like a regular Golf. Great economy means it should cost very little to run, yet price could be an issue. There’s no official word, but it could cost as much as a GTI.

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The MkVII Volkswagen Golf will be available with hybrid power – a first for the Golf. And we’ve driven a prototype of the plug-in.

It’s based on the current three-door model, and featured a 1.4-litre TSI turbo petrol engine, boosted by an 80Kw electric motor. It also had a lithium-ion battery that can be topped up from the mains.

On the move, the plug-in Golf is very impressive indeed. Under most driving conditions it’s effectively an electric car – and you really need to press very hard on the throttle for the petrol engine to cut in at all.

In town, it’s fast enough for you to breeze through traffic. Plus, the motor is so powerful, the engine is barely used on high-speed roads.

VW says the Golf will have an electric-only range of around 30 miles and should be able to return 141mpg with overall CO2 emissions as low as 46g/km.

The new MQB platform will also allow designers to mount the battery and electric motor in a way that doesn’t encroach on passenger or luggage space.

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