Volkswagen has revealed a new plug-in electric version of the Golf.
Called the Golf blue-e-motion, it previews the zero emission driveline and lithium-ion battery technology VW intends to place in a production version of the new car that its chairman, Martin Winterkorn, says will go on sale in Germany and other key markets, including the UK, in 2013.
The Golf blue-e-motion forms part of a broad based electric vehicle offensive made official by the German car maker that will see similarly configured versions of the Mexican-built Volkswagen Jetta and Chinese market Volkswagen Lavida also go on sale in 2013.
Before they arrive, however, Volkswagen plans to kick off its electric car offensive with the introduction of the Up blue-e-motion. This is a car described by Winterkorn as a “city specialist” and was previewed in concept car form at last year’s Frankfurt motor show.
While based on today’s sixth-generation Golf, the showroom version of the blue-e-motion, unveiled by German chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Berlin today, is planned to form part of the seventh-generation Golf line-up that will begin heading into UK showrooms the same year.
Mounted up front in the space normally taken up by the Golf’s petrol or diesel engines is an 115bhp electric motor. It drives the front wheels through a new single gear gearbox developed by Volkswagen called the MQ210.
Electric power for the motor is provided by a lithium-ion battery pack mounted within the middle tunnel of the floorpan, under the rear seat and in the floor of the boot. With a capacity of 26.5kWh it is claimed to provide a nominal range of 93miles. In a process similar to that introduced on the new Touareg hybrid, the Golf blue-e-motion uses a separate clutch that automatically decouples its electric motor on a trailing throttle to provide what Volkswagen describes as “sailing effect” with little mechanical drag.
At 1545kg, the Golf blue-e-motion weighs 305kg more than the existing Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion. However, Volkswagen says it hits 62mph from standstill in 11.8sec and reaches a top speed that, in the interests of retaining battery charge, is limited to 87mph.
Volkswagen says it intends producing a fleet of up to 500 prototype versions of the Golf blue-e-motion for internal testing before the production version arrives in 2013.
In a parallel program to its new electric car offensive, Volkswagen is also working on a new range of hybrid models. Initiated with the new Touareg hybrid, it will be widened to include a Jetta hybrid in 2012 as well as a Golf hybrid and Passat hybrid in 2013, according to Winterkorn.