Automotive

VW Passat GTE plug-in hybrid makes 141 mpg

VW Passat GTE plug-in hybrid m...
VW's Passat GTE will make its debut in Paris
VW's Passat GTE will make its debut in Paris
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The VW Passat GTE is the brand's first hybrid sedan
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The VW Passat GTE is the brand's first hybrid sedan
LED daytime running lights are standard on the GTE
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LED daytime running lights are standard on the GTE
An NEDC combined figure of 141 mpg is possible with the Passat GTE
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An NEDC combined figure of 141 mpg is possible with the Passat GTE
The GTE's gearbox can decouple for better economy
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The GTE's gearbox can decouple for better economy
The Passat GTE's distinctive grille
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The Passat GTE's distinctive grille
The GTE Passat joins the Golf GTE in VW's hybrid lineup
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The GTE Passat joins the Golf GTE in VW's hybrid lineup
Inside, the car's instruments have been tweaked to include a battery power meter
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Inside, the car's instruments have been tweaked to include a battery power meter
A fast charger is also available, which cuts charging time almost in half
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A fast charger is also available, which cuts charging time almost in half
Regenerative braking helps charge the battery on the go
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Regenerative braking helps charge the battery on the go
Charging takes 4 hours 15 minutes from a wall socket
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Charging takes 4 hours 15 minutes from a wall socket
The petrol engine is a 1.4-liter TSI unit
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The petrol engine is a 1.4-liter TSI unit
VW's Passat GTE will make its debut in Paris
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VW's Passat GTE will make its debut in Paris

The 2014 Paris Motor Show is shaping up to be a showcase of fuel saving technologies. Citroen and Peugeot are showcasing compressed-air hybrids, while Volkswagen will reveal a "GTE" plug-in hybrid version of its eighth-generation Passat that boasts economy figures of 141 mpg (2.0 l/100km).

The Passat GTE sees VW combine hybrid "E" power with the sporty feel associated with its GTi nameplate – hence the GTE moniker. Powering the car is a turbocharged petrol engine coupled with an electric motor that provides 31 miles (50 km) of range in zero emissions mode, but can also provide an extra performance boost. Controlled by an "E-mode" button next to the gear lever, drivers can manually switch between petrol power or lithium-ion battery power, instead of letting the car do it manually.

As well as helping with emissions, the Passat's battery pack provides extra performance. In GTE mode, the 1.4-liter TSI's 115 kW (154 hp) is supplemented by an extra 85 kW (114 hp) and 330 Nm from the electric motor giving the Passat GTE a total output of 160 kW (215 hp) and 400 Nm (295 ft.lb) of torque. In this mode, the car's steering and throttle response are also sharpened, and VW claims it will sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less that 8.0 seconds. Top speed is pegged at 136 mph (219 km/h) or 80 mph (129 km/h).

The petrol engine is a 1.4-liter TSI unit
The petrol engine is a 1.4-liter TSI unit

The Passat GTE Hybrid will cover 620 miles on a full 50-liter (13.2 gallon) tank of fuel and with a full battery, thanks to its 141 mpg (2.0 l/100km) NEDC hybrid consumption figure, which equates to 45 g/km of CO2.

These economy figures are helped by the Passat GTE's DSG gearbox, which can decouple the engine from the wheels to allow "coasting" without any power from the battery or engine. To help the GTE to stand out from the standard Passat range, VW has tweaked its styling. Up front, the hybrid is sporting a new chrome radiator grille and cross panels in the bumper's lower air intake, while C-shaped LED daytime running lights give the GTE a more distinctive face than its less economical stablemates. Seventeen-inch wheels are another cue that the Passat you're seeing is not a run-of-the-mill gas model.

Charging takes 4 hours 15 minutes from a wall socket
Charging takes 4 hours 15 minutes from a wall socket

Battery replenishment is taken care of by a socket in the GTE's new grille. A full charge takes around 4 hours 15 minutes by through a wall plug. VW also offers a 3.6 kW quick charger, which takes just 2 hours 30 to complete the same task. Regenerative braking also helps charge the battery on the go.

VW has also fine-tuned the Passat GTE's interior for the new drivetrain. The car's 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen now features a range monitor, which shows how much energy can be saved by turning off energy-hungry functions, and an energy-flow indicator depicts where the car's power is coming from under acceleration. Finally, a 360 degree range map demonstrates how far the car's remaining battery power will carry you in any direction.

Inside, the car's instruments have been tweaked to include a battery power meter
Inside, the car's instruments have been tweaked to include a battery power meter

On the instrument binnacle, the GTE's hybrid powertrain is tracked by a "power meter" in place of the rev-counter, which tells drivers how much energy is being consumed and regenerated. A 12.3-inch instrument screen similar to that found in the Audi TT is also available.

The higher-tech interior is supplemented by a "CAR-NET e-Remote" app, allowing GTE owners to check if their car is charging, if the doors are closed or control the air conditioning.

UK order books for the Passat GTE open in June next year, with first deliveries taking place in October 2015. When it does go on sale, the Passat will sit alongside the Golf GTE in VW's plug-in hybrid lineup.

In the meantime, Gizmag will bring you a closer look at the Passat GTE from the floor of the Paris Motor Show this week.

Source: Volkswagen

18 comments
Freyr Gunnar
> As well as helping with emissions, the Passat's battery pack provides extra performance There is another reason to develop that kind of car: Gasoline will get more scarce and expensive as global oil production peaks, especially for countries like Europe or Japan that have none. "Total world, oil production" www.manicore.com/documentation/petrole/pic_graph42.jpg "Oil production, EU 27 with/without Norway" www.manicore.com/documentation/petrole/pic_futur_graph3.jpg
Daishi
Plug-in is hybrids "killer app"
Mel Tisdale
@ Freyr Gunnar In support of the links in Freyr's post, I would add Gail Tverberg's Our Finite World website,which concentrates on world oil supply, or rather the lack of it, and is a valuable source of pertinent information. Also worth a visit is Chris Martenson's Peak Prosperity website, which provides a valuable take on world economics. His Crash Course and its discussion of oil supply, is particularly pertinent. (Both sites are free regarding the relevant information, but Martenson's has a pay wall for deeper analysis.) Incidentally, Both of the above sites also raise the issue of copper supply, which is dwindling in terms of ore quality. How that is going to affect the production of electric cars and such like, including hybrids, causes me some concern. I assume that the automotive industry has taken account of this, especially the projected price rise as the supply of good quality ore dwindles even further and we pass a peak of copper supply. Mind you, if Tverberg and Martenson are anywhere near correct in their projections, a lack of copper will be the least of our worries.
enntense
I don't understand the hyper inflated numbers. 141mpg? 620 miles on 13.2 gallons of fuel is 46mpg, which is pretty close to what a diesel Passat already gets...so, whats the big deal? Am I missing something here?
Daishi
@enntense I think that number might be MPGe (MPG equivalent) for the first miles that are done on electric before it goes into hybrid mode. Basically its something that should be measured in miles/kWh or watts/mile but the auto industry decided the public is too entrenched in "MPG" to understand electricity so that is supposed to be a useful dumbed down metric for them to use to rate electric car efficiency. Another useful example is the plug-in Prius, in the specs of the car they list it at 95 MPGe and 50 MPG average for hybrid mode. With plug-in hybrid real world mileage (as in actual gasoline used) actually does get pretty confusing because actual driving is usually too short range to measure in tanks of gas. Using the Chevy Volt as an example it gets 37 miles on battery before using hybrid mode (which is probably similar to a Prius in mileage). Because people tend to drive a short distance (work, shopping, etc.) and then plug in the car back in, the car can stay in electric mode much longer than the mere 37 miles of range would imply and Volt owners get real world range of about 900 miles per 9 gallon tank of gas, or 100 MPG. But that's different than MPGe. I wish the convention the industry would use is just listing miles/kWh for electric separate from hybrid MPG. Example: 3 miles/kWh (at 16.5 kWh battery capacity) in electric mode 51/48 city/highway in hybrid mode Even watts/mile is fine but the MPGe format seems pretty stupid once we apply it to actual EV's but I suppose the figure is supposes to be how many miles you can drive on electric for the cost of a gallon of regular gas.
Buellrider
enntense, It's a plugin hybrid which means at times it runs on pure electric without gas. During those times it gets all its miles without burning any fuel and that is averaged into the mpg equivalency.
Luke Hopkins
I must be missing something. A fuel consumption of 141 mpg and a fuel tank which holds 13.2 gallons should theoretically allow the car to travel 1,861.2 miles on 1 tank shouldn't it? Not the 620 miles quoted? 620 miles using 13.2 gallons would equate to a 47mpg.
GoodLife03
Like many other consumers, I live in an apartment building with no access to charging a car! Give me mpg numbers starting with a full gas tank and an empty battery! Those are meaningful numbers otherwise if you keep charging your battery and never using gas you get infinite mpg, right??? Marketing people... no no no give the real mpg numbers, no mixing apples and pears and posting price only for apples...
zevulon
more plug-in-car-nonsense. bob lutz from gm said it himself. electric is good for trucks and busses before it will ever succeed at scale with cars. hybrid cars , were a nice little stepping stone but ultimately don't offer the consumer much at all, other than the pleasure of a quiet ride. plug-ins are an expensive pointless compromise. electric power works at scale for bicycles, mini commercial forklifts, and for busses. the next stage is to utilize them when they are good enough for trucks. the most successful electric car in the u.s. by numbers is the nissan leaf. how many people do you know that own it? don't believe me? http://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/
Richard Barrett
VW Passat: Ok, if I take the 620 and subtract 30 miles for Electric mode it leaves 590. 590/13,2 gallons = 44.7 mpg on the gas engine. Combined they go 620/13.2 = 46.9 mpg less the equivalent energy to charge the battery. To get 141 mpg you only drive 43.6 miles or 47 km. Maybe they consider that their average daily drive. GM says the average drive is 40 miles per day. I own a VOLT and for 18 months it has averaged 136 mpg fuel only. Last month was 162 mpg with a little less long driving. I expect the VW will average close to the 141 stated but that is very misleading to advertise it.