Look what we have here! It’s a VW Golf GTI with a dose of electric power and when we said “a dose,” we do really mean ‘a dose’. How? This particular Golf here, dubbed Golf GTI First Decade, has 410 PS, or about 404 HP, but that impressive number is solely from its petrol engine. You must be thinking, “oh wow, then it must have a lot more ponies under the hood when combine with the electric drive?” Ermmm, no. The thing is, the 48V electric motor, which drives the rear wheels, only produces a very modest 12 kW (16 HP). As you can imagine, that’s really nothing to shout about.
Anywho, when you need the full grunt the 1.4L internal combustion engine has to offer, the First Decade unleash them through the front wheels, just like a good VW Golf should. However, it still begs the question of why a measly electric motor to begin with? Well, about that… the electric drive serves to alleviate your guilt, so when the full potential of the vehicle is not required, such as when driving in the city, or say, parking, you can enjoy a zero emission drive. That’s full-on electric, btw, which makes it a legit rear-wheel drive car. Imagine that. A RWD VW Golf GTI!
That said, that will come a time when four-wheel drive is required and for that, you can get both the ICE and the electric motor going, activated through a tablet PC app or from the infotainment display via Mirror Link, to enjoy the benefit of all-wheel drive. Oh, even though the electric motor is nearly non-existent, it still get regenerative braking too. After all, batteries are batteries, and they will run out sooner if they don’t get charged whenever they can.
As for the unusual name, First Decade, it so named to mark the car as the 10th apprentices’ GTI for the annual Wörthersee Meeting, which the car will be making its official appearance. Speaking of Wörthersee Meeting, VW will also be premiering a 165 kW (220 HP) VW Golf GTE Estate impulsE, equipped with a bumped up capacity prototype battery, whipped up by 14 apprentices from VW Zwickau vehicle plant, the Chemnitz engine plant and the Transparent Factory in Dresden.
For some reasons, VW is reluctant in making more powerful hybrid and so, it is not surprise that the First Decade has a secondary role electric motor. But it could be a prelude that could lead to bigger things. I don’t know. Ok, perhaps, I am just being overly optimistic here. So, don’t mind me.