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First drive of the Volkswagen Golf Plug-in Hybrid – Autoweek

Volkswagen has taken a measured approach to hybrid introductions. Before making any big moves, it has waited until the complex and expensive technology allowing part-time zero emission electric propulsion matures to a point where it is financially viable.

That’s not to say its engineers have been idle. VW describes the new Golf Plug-In Hybrid as its most ambitious new-model project to date, bigger in scale and funding than any existing gas or diesel engine model, according to the company.

Volkswagen is adopting elements of the Jetta Hybrid’s far less advanced hybrid system combined with its latest plug-in know-how. VW’s first-ever series production gas-electric Golf has an impressive mix of performance and economy, including the ability to operate on only electricity for worthwhile distances.

Two separate sources power the new hatchback: a transversely mounted 148 hp 1.4-liter four-cylinder direct injection gas engine and a 107 hp electric motor mounted in the forward section of the gearbox–the same combination Audi uses in its recently unveiled A3 e-tron.

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