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Volkswagen Passat GTE...

24 April 2016, 10:05 AM

While plug-in hybrids have been around for a long time, it is only in the past few years that more & more manufacturers have started to consider them as serious contenders to their portfolio. Typically, it had been the Japanese manufacturers who’d taken the lead in this class of vehicles, but recently, European manufacturers too have begun to look at them as viable options.

The Volkswagen Passat GTE is one such plug-in hybrid that has got off to a promising start. Powered by an electric motor that can operate independently or in tandem with a conventional 1.4 litre TSI petrol motor, the Passat GTE is a unique proposition in the manufacturer’s portfolio.

Volkswagen is claiming a mind-boggling combined fuel economy figure of just over 50 kilometres to a litre! All this even as it maintains its usual advantages of great build quality and impeccably appointed passenger cabin together with distinctive styling that Volkswagen cars in India, and the world over are known for.

The 1.4 litre TSI Petrol engine in the Volkswagen Passat GTE churns out 154 bhp & 250 Nm of peak torque. The electric motor, in turn has a 64 bhp output, but more importantly, it puts out 150 Nm of peak torque. Thus, when the two powerplants are in combined operation mode, the GTE churns out a respectable 215 Bhp & 400 Nm of torque.

Visually speaking, there’s not much in terms of branding to set it apart from the regular, conventional power plant version. The only changes VW appears to have made on the outside is giving the GTE horseshoe shaped DRL’s and a thin blue stripe running horizontally along the length of the grille at the front.

On the inside, the underfloor storage space that is one of the USP’s of the Passat range, is no longer present in the GTE. With the battery being placed under the rear seat bench, Volkswagen engineers had to house the fuel tank in the floor storage area. Besides this, the energy indicator replaces the conventional rev counter, along with a display screen that shows the amount of charge left in the battery.

Lastly, the smaller boot & the reduced handling prowess are but a minor tradeoff for the higher fuel efficiency & reduced tailpipe emissions. But the cost difference between the GTE and regular Passat means that fans of Volkswagen cars in India are unlikely to get their hands on it in the near future. Pity!

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