The Golf GTE plug-in hybrid is driven by two power sources: a 1.4-litre 110 kW (150 PS; 148 hp) TSI direct-injection petrol engine and a 75 kW electric motor. Together, they combine to produce power of 150 kW (204 PS; 201 hp) and 350 N m (258 lb ft) of torque, with a theoretical range of 933 km (580 mi). Using the electric motor alone, the GTE is capable of speeds of 130 km/h (81 mph). With the TSI engine as well, the Golf GTE can accelerate from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 215 km/h (134 mph).. The Golf GTE shares the basic powertrain hardware with the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron but the software controls are different. The Golf GTE also shares the same plug-in hybrid powertrain with the Volkswagen Passat GTE, but the Passat has a larger 9.9 kWh Li-ion battery pack.
In EV mode, the Golf GTE has an all-electric range of 50 km (31 mi). The all-electric mode can be activated at the push of a button. Under the New European Driving Cycle, combined fuel economy is 1.50 L/100 km (157 mpg US) equivalent. The electric power can also be saved – for example when driving to a zero-emissions zone. The 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged in around three and a half hours from a domestic mains outlet, or two and a half hours from a domestic wallbox. The battery weighs 120 kg (265 lb), giving the GTE a total kerb weight of 1,520 kg (3,351 lb).
The Golf GTE uses a six-speed DSG gearbox with a triple-clutch system specially developed for hybrid vehicles. The electric motor is integrated into the gearbox housing, while further hybrid components include power electronics and a charger. An electro-mechanical brake servo and an electric air conditioning compressor make for energy-efficient braking and air conditioning.
Inside as on the outside, the Golf GTE features blue highlights where the GTI has red. This includes stitching on the steering wheel, gear lever gaiter and seats, and a blue stripe in the tartan pattern on the sports seats. A 5.8-inch touchscreen display is standard, the 8-inch Discover Pro satellite navigation system with DAB radio and Bluetooth is a 1765 option, and includes bespoke functions for electric vehicles, including the ability to identify potential destinations on electric range, and electric charging points.The GTE will also feature an e-manager which allows the driver to preset vehicle charging, as well as interior cooling or heating. These functions can also be operated remotely using the Volkswagen Car-Net app on a smartphone: a three-year subscription will be included in the UK.
The first GTE units were registered in Germany in August 2014, and it was the second-best selling plug-in hybrid in Europe in 2015 with 17,282 sales.