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201 horsepower and 157 mpg: VW’s Golf GTE is a plug-in hybrid that handles like a GTI

Volkswagen has a version of its Golf for everyone. It has the standard Golf, which is perhaps the most sensible car on the planet; the GTI, the sporty version of the Golf; and the GTD, which takes the GTI idea and adds diesel. Now there’s this: the GTE, which combines plug-in hybrid efficiency and turbocharged acceleration into one incredibly versatile package.

The GTE, which will be unveiled next month at the Geneva Motor Show, is powered by a 148-horspower 1.4-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine and a 101-hp electric motor. Together, VW rates the GTE at 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is good for a 0 to 62 mph time of 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 135.

Powered by the onboard batteries, the GTE can go 31 miles on a single charge and up to 81 mph on the electric motor alone. One the European drive cycle, VW estimates the GTE will achieve 157 mpg, what that is in American MPGe is, though, I don’t know. Regardless, VW brags the GTE is “one of the world’s most efficient cars.”

While you might be yawning at the GTE, I encourage you to give it another think. The GTE, like the Audi A3 e-tron I drove in LA is on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform. This light and tight chassis will make the GTE just as fun to drive as the GTI but far more eco-friendly. The best of both worlds? I think yes.

Plus, it seems that VW has finally sorted the driving lumpiness of hybrid systems, so the GTE shouldn’t jitter and shake you past the gas stations.

There’s no word if the GTE is headed Stateside anytime soon. I suspect, though, that it will, in due time.

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