VW Golf GTE Sport Concept marries EVs with race cars

Unless you've been keeping a close eye on the automobile industry, you'd presume that performance race cars and electric vehicles, even the hybrid plug-in ones, don't mix. Volkswagen wants to shatter that misconception with the new Golf GTE Sport Concept just unveiled at Austria's W├Ârthersee festival. Like the Golf GTE compact announced February last year, this EV harnesses the joint power of a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, two of the latter actually, to deliver a top speed of 280 km/h truly worthy of a GT name.

The engine composition of the Golf GTE Sport Concept is quite interesting. Whereas most plug-in hybrids pair one regular engine and an electric motor, Volkswagen uses two electricity-powered ones, located in separate locations. The first one is located on the front, delivering 85 kW/115 PS and a maximum torque of 300 Nm while the second one is at the back with 270 Nm. The engine is a 1.6 liter TSI from Polo R World Rally Car. In the car's "GTE Mode", all three motors push the Golf GTE Sport to that astounding speed and to an acceleration of 4.3 seconds from zero to 100 km/h. Running on the electric motors alone yields a range of 50 km (31 mi).

The race car personality of the Golf GTE Sport extends into the two-seater cabin. Like motorsports cars, the driver and passenger bucket seats are completely separated and go all the way back. The instrumentation panel is quite interesting, using three layers of transparent displays, each displaying a particular set of information. The smallest is closest to the driver and shows the least frequently needed information like selected gear. The middle display has more relevant information like power meter and boost intensity. Finally, speed and range are on the largest and farthest display that is always within the driver's line of sight.

To achieve such amazing speeds, the Volkswagen Golf GTE Sports Concept needed to have a lightweight body. In this case, Volkswagen employed its favorite high-strength carbon also found in the likes of the Bugatti Veyron and VW XL 1. That exterior is also just as striking as the car's interior, especially when viewed from its profile. Here, the two-level C-pillar design that Volkswagen first used on the 2007 Golf GTI is immediately evident. The doors swing upwards all the way to the roof, affording a more comfortable entrance and exit for driver and passenger. The front design betrays the most conspicuous difference between a production Golf GTE and this concept model, with blue crossbar running below the bonnet across the entire width. The rear has an equally impressive visage, once again emphasizing the two-level C-pillar as the central design of the vehicle.

More than just "yet another concept", Volkswagen is poising the Golf GTE Sport Concept as the herald of the GT future, employing the use of lightweight but durable carbon and taking down the wall that divides motorsports vehicles and road cars. WIth a three-motor team with two zero-emission electric motors, the Golf GTE Sport aims to deliver the speed and power of a race car with a tinge of environment friendliness.

SOURCE: Autoblog