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GTE joins the existing GTI and GTD

Volkswagen is doing quite a bit to expand its family of “hot hatches” on the market. The garden variety Golf spawned the original GTI decades ago, and still lives on to this day. In recent years, the GTI has even gained a diesel variant called the GTD.
Today, the GTI will be joined by yet another variant: the plug-in hybrid electric GTE. German automakers are drawn to complexity for some reason, and the GTE is no exception. The GTE makes use of a turbocharged 1.4-liter TSI engine (whereas most hybrids try to stick with a simple, naturally-aspirated gasoline engine) that pumps out 148hp. A 101hp electric motor pushes total system power to 201hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
Adding to the complexity is VAG’s six-speed, dual-clutch transmission (most other hybrids use a CVT or a modified automatic transmission to keep things simple).

While the GTE may have GTI roots, it definitely doesn’t have GTI performance. Volkswagen says that the GTE will take 7.6 seconds to reach 60 mph, making it over a second and a half slower than a standard GTI (and also slower than the GTD). However, the GTE’s trump card is that it can travel up to 31 miles on battery power alone thanks to its 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery.
The GTE is based on the MK7 Golf, which uses the new modular MQB platform. Production of the first MQB vehicles destined for the United States (2015 Golf, 2015 Golf TDI, 2015 GTI) recently kicked off in Mexico.

The U.S. market is guaranteed to receive the fully electric e-Golf, but it’s still not known if we will eventually receive the GTE (although being MQB-based does make the possibility even more likely, as it could be produced in Mexico instead of Germany to keep costs down). 

Source: Volkswagen

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By Dr of crap on 2/21/14, Rating: 0
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/14, Rating: -1
By Brandon Hill on 2/21/2014 12:45:08 PM , Rating: 1
Not from me. As I mentioned, VW has made this more complicated than it needed to.

Hybrid + DSG ($500 service required every 40k miles) + turbo'd small displacement gas engine + VW reliability in general = Told ya so!

By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/14, Rating: -1
By mjv.theory on 2/21/2014 1:34:58 PM , Rating: 5
I just do not get it!

The thing is that some people aren't you. Some people, that is some of those who aren't you, have different requirements and priorities than you do. Some drive less than 30-40 miles a day and can run such vehicles for hundreds or thousands of miles only on the batteries, saving a load of cash and a load of pollution in the process.

Apart from apparently not giving a shit about the rest of the world and the rest of humanity, you also seem to suffer from an unfortunate lack of objectivity.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/14, Rating: -1
By Manch on 2/26/2014 5:26:51 AM , Rating: 2
Here's what I dont get. An expensive $30k(after subsidy) hybrid that saves me a bit on gas or a really cheap $15K econo car. If it takes 10+ years for me to break even then why? Whats the point? As for the environment, I know I know, petrol is the physical incarnation of evil but everyone tends to ignore the enviromental damage caused by mining those rare earth minerals, and the toxic nature of batteries. Then there is the issue of where do you get your power from. Coal? Nuclear? Wind?

So, just because someone doesnt "get" hybrids, doesnt mean they want to trample bambi and pave rain forests. Just because you supt hybrids doesnt make you automatically environmentally friendly either.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2014 1:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
Some drive less than 30-40 miles a day and can run such vehicles for hundreds or thousands of miles only on the batteries

Those people are better served by other options. Why a plug-in hybrid if you're never going to use the gas engine?

This is why even pure EV's are outselling plug-in hybrids. Plug-in hybrids serve no niche and have no advantages.

But I'm not speaking for other people, I clearly am saying "I" don't get it, hello? Even if I only drove 30 miles a day, every day, this car doesn't make sense to me.

By Rukkian on 2/21/2014 4:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get it either for me (as I have a 120 mile commute everyday), and I also currently live in a rental with no good access to power for charging.

Once we buy a house, a plug-in hybrid of some sort would make sense for my wife, however. She drives like 9k miles a year. She works from home, and 90% of the time just uses her car for short trips (less than 5 miles round trip), but still does need the flexibility to drive further if something comes up, since my car is quite a distance from home during the day.

I still would not get this (even for her) as the reliability track record of VW is crap. They may be better now, but I will not be going down that road until they have a better long term track record.

I would be interested in a full EV (for her) if the tech ever got better to the point of a decent car (IE not a leaf) with at least a 160 mile range and decent price (less than 40k). Since this is not going to happen anytime soon (if ever) a plug-in hybrid would be a good compromise in my book in theory. I say theory because I do not particularly care for any of the plug-in hybrids out there right now.

Plug-In hybrids add a lot of complexity and have the worst of both worlds since it still needs the maint of a ICE, and the range is really bad in EV mode, however for very limited cases, it may make sense.

By VWNaris on 2/21/2014 1:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
I only live 10 miles from home, so a plug-in hybrid that can go 30 miles, but is a hybrid as opposed to a "pure" electric car such as the Leaf or eGolf, so I can drive farther than that does appeal to me. Especially since it can hit 135mph.

However, since I have to have AWD in order to have any hope of climbing the Ice Cliff that is the road to my house, I'll keep my Golf-R.

By VWNaris on 2/21/2014 1:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
Err -- make that 10 miles form work

By Spuke on 2/21/2014 1:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
But when I discuss this stuff, boom -1. Nobody wants good discussion, you're just not allowed to violate the sanctity of the Church of Batteries on Daily Tech.
I would love to have an adult discussion about this for once but it always turns into a church sermon. Maybe we should just start having side discussions about this stuff. Let everyone else just rant and we'll talk about the tech. With my current commute and work location, the 31 mile range would be useful IF I could plug in at work. I won't drive slow to stay on battery which is why I'd need to see the fuel economy figures. I do like the fact that this is in a sporty chassis finally. Yes, VW reliability is very scary (you know that I know). And I just read that the Cruze diesel gets an est 46 mph hwy. Wow! That car would be cheaper to own for sure. Not as sporty though but I could throw on some coilovers, big rear sway bar and sticky tires. LOL! Don't know, still 10 years out on the project car so I have plenty of time to think.

By amanojaku on 2/21/2014 3:40:26 PM , Rating: 2
These are the manufacturer's numbers. Grain of salt and all that...
The Golf GTE offers combined cycle fuel economy (provisional) of about 157 mpg US (1.5 l/100 km) and CO2 emissions of 35 g/km. Theoretical range is around 580 miles (933 km).

By Spuke on 2/21/2014 5:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks. I just don't buy that at all. If this car gets say 45 mpg on the engine then that's what it gets PLUS the 31 mile range on electric power (IF you drive really slow and don't use the heat or A/C or radio).

By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2014 5:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's really dishonest the way they are allowed to combine the battery range and call it "miles per gallon". It's not at all accurate of real world driving.

By Spuke on 2/21/2014 5:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
It is dishonest and some people will be fooled into thinking the car gets 157 mpg until a few fill ups then they'll file a class action suit against the manufacturer and not the government of course who is the real culprit here. After a few law suits the gov will step in, like they did nothing wrong of course, and change the rating to something more realistic (which will still be complete BS).

By twhittet on 2/21/2014 6:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
Fyi - the 157mpg may be in US units (mpg), but it is on the European cycle, so will be considerably less with EPA testing.

By tayb on 2/21/2014 6:22:16 PM , Rating: 3
You rarely post logical thoughts on any subject much less when speaking about EV. It has been pointed out dozens of times that hundreds of thousands of people commute less than 30 miles TOTAL each day and would benefit from having a car that has all the benefits of a pure EV but the range of a regular gasoline engine.

The fact that you continue to ignore this simple fact with your fingers in your ear is your own problem. If I took a megaphone and shouted it directly into your face you would still probably not understand because you don't WANT to understand. You don't CARE to understand.

And you sit here and act like no one can make any sense to you. Duh.

By mellomonk on 2/22/2014 2:18:19 AM , Rating: 2
I could commute to work and back everyday and with a prudent use of the foot, would never even light the petrol engine. And a good portion of my co-workers wouldn't either. Average commute in the US is less then 40 miles. Getting 25% of that range as MPGE (miles per gallon equivalent) would be noticeable in the pocketbook.

By yomamafor1 on 2/22/2014 12:37:45 PM , Rating: 1
No, its you who doesn't want a good discussion, because you've got it stuck in your mind that your requirement for a car makes sense for everyone else.

Have you ever considered this car was not for people to drive long distances on the highway, but rather in city driving? Electric motors are much more efficient in city driving than any internal combustion engine. Additionally, wouldn't you think 31 mile range in city driving would be more than sufficient?

By EricMartello on 2/23/2014 12:39:34 AM , Rating: 1
I've already explained why current electric cars - hybrids or all-electric - are pure fail...but yeah, there is a devoted group of tree-humping trolls that think burning anything other than weed is the root of all evil.

The fact of the matter is that the energy density of batteries pales in comparison to that of liquid fuel. Furthermore, there is no 'shortage of fossil fuels' that you keep hearing about on environmentalist websites so the idea that there is some pressing urge to switch to electric cars is entirely contrived.

Liberal politicians want "cap n trade" so they can profit from carbon emissions. Carbon was recently classified as a 'pollutant' by the EPA, and along with their made up "global warming" fairy tale they want to push through laws that impose cap n trade on any power plant that burns fuel to produce power.

Capn Trade isn't a new highly-abrasive cereal, it's basically short for capture and trade, where the law would dictate that "polluters" capture their carbon emissions and then sell that carbon to whoever wants to buy it. In the process, taxes are levied on the transactions and penalties upon 'excess polluters'.

The net result is that the cost of electricity skyrockets due to a higher demand along with an artificially lower supply (as coal-fired plants are effectively put out of business) while ZERO benefit to the environment is realized. The process of capturing emissions also adds to the costs of producing power so you have three factors that could easily double or triple what we pay for electricity as compared to current rates.

Electric cars are just a piece of the push to get more Americans onto the grid and to support this scam being pushed by liberal and the EPA...and yeah, it really is nothing more than a scam.

By Nutzo on 2/23/2014 6:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
I've already explained why current electric cars - hybrids or all-electric - are pure fail...but yeah, there is a devoted group of tree-humping trolls that think burning anything other than weed is the root of all evil.

I'm about as far from a tree hugger as can be, but I still drive a Camry Hybrid. Most my driving is in city/rush hour traffic, where I average around 36 MPG, which is DOUBLE what I used to get out of my 4 cyl Camry. Plus tha car has more HP. How is that a fail?

I'd love a reasonably priced plug-in Hybrid, as even a 20 mile range would cover my commute most days. However, the high price of the larger batteries and loss of trunk space (and spare tire) makes them impractical at this time.

As for an all-electric car, I agree that they are a fail for most people. A Leaf would cover 90% of my driving like my commute, but what am I suppose to do the other 10% of the time when I have a 200+ mile round trip?

By EricMartello on 2/25/2014 6:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm about as far from a tree hugger as can be, but I still drive a Camry Hybrid. Most my driving is in city/rush hour traffic, where I average around 36 MPG, which is DOUBLE what I used to get out of my 4 cyl Camry. Plus tha car has more HP. How is that a fail?

If you were only averaging 18 MPG in a 4-cyl camry you either have a heavy foot or there was something wrong with the engine. Something there seems amiss...but that aside, the current model Camry LE has a MSRP of $22K while the LE hybrid is $26K. This is for the base model with no options, so right off the bat you are paying about 20% more for the hybrid. The LE has a 28 MPG city rating while the hybrid is listed as 41 MPG, which is only valid if you stay on electric most of the time.

To understand why buying the hybrid version is fail, we can do some basic arithmetic. You start by paying $4K extra for the same exact car (LE vs LE hybrid). If your main focus was fuel savings, you'd have to save $4K in fuel over the normal LE version just to break even.

Driven daily 20 miles on average - that's 7,300 miles per year, the LE @ 28 MPG and $4/gal will cost $1,044 while the hybrid @ 41 MPG (best case) costs $712, a difference of $332.

So you saving $332 per year in fuel with the hybrid means 12 years before you BREAK EVEN in savings to cover the $4K higher price you paid for the hybrid.

There's your fail right there, and we're giving the hybrid its best-case assuming its hitting its 41 MPG city rating all of the time, while assuming that the non-hybrid averages 28 MPG.

As far as HP goes...if you're driving a car like this you've already resigned to practicality so there's no point to bring up power. Both cars are slow, boring cookie-cutter drone mobiles. Who cares if one is slightly less slow than the other.

I'd love a reasonably priced plug-in Hybrid, as even a 20 mile range would cover my commute most days. However, the high price of the larger batteries and loss of trunk space (and spare tire) makes them impractical at this time.

See above - the premium you pay for a hybrid offsets any fuel savings you'd realize over the car's useful life even if you stayed within the narrow range limitations of "electric only" performance.

As for an all-electric car, I agree that they are a fail for most people. A Leaf would cover 90% of my driving like my commute, but what am I suppose to do the other 10% of the time when I have a 200+ mile round trip?

That's right...and why pay extra for a car that uses a complicated solution to a problem that is already well-addressed by more efficient gas or diesel options.

The real moral of this story is that life is too short to drive boring, crappy cars that have no soul. Grow a pair and buy something that has at least 400 HP and doesn't scream "I gave up on life - I drive a camry".

By RapidDissent on 2/22/2014 12:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
VW reliability has improved leaps and bounds since the MKV. I am a little biased as I have a 07 GTI. But it is nearly flawless. I have had a couple recalls and random CELs, but it has never stopped working. I have 70K mi on it and there are no interior rattles, no weird chirps or clicks. I didn't even replace my factory battery until 60k mi.

The 1.4 TSI is also a great choice. It is a stout little engine. I would take it over any Atkinson Toyota.

The TSI and DSG are also both well warranted as this is a GTE, not a Golf Hybrid. Any Golf with GT in the title is intended to be an Autoboahn burner, not a 5mi-to-the-grocery-store-and-back beast.

As I said, I am biased, so grain of salt and all that, but I am a new convert due to my GTI. I was not born in a VW bus or have relatives in Wolfsburg or anything.

By amanojaku on 2/21/2014 3:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
NOW VW thinks we want only 30 and less if its hot or cold out??
It's a HYBRID. It's ALL-ELECTRIC range is 31 miles. It has an estimated range of 580 miles COMBINED.

By Spuke on 2/21/2014 4:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
580 mile range? New Cruze diesel is supposed to get over 700.

By twhittet on 2/21/2014 6:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
Good for it. Luckily the same people who bitch about wanting a CHOICE to drive their v8 gas guzzlers should also like having a choice to not pay the price premium of diesel at the pump.
The Cruze also holds 5 more gallons of fuel btw, so great comparison.

Plus I bet the GTE is a whole lot more fun to drive than the Cruze.

By Spuke on 2/21/2014 11:13:13 PM , Rating: 1
Plus I bet the GTE is a whole lot more fun to drive than the Cruze.
That could very well be but I'm guessing the Hybrid customer probably will prefer economy over sport. Kind of like Mini owners. And who knows how well it will handle with the LI battery pack onboard. Might just be a wash.

Luckily the same people who bitch about wanting a CHOICE to drive their v8 gas guzzlers should also like having a choice to not pay the price premium of diesel at the pump.
Fuel cost differences are pretty minimal honestly. People pay too much attention to the pump prices and not how much the difference in cost is. For example, my car costs $50 to fill (91 octane). If it were diesel it would cost $51. But Spuke that was 91 octane! Ok, let's work the numbers for 87 octane. The cost would be $48. $2 difference. Whoop de freakin do!

By twhittet on 2/22/2014 4:01:44 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about prices where you are, but diesel is a 18% (or higher) premium over 87 here, I'm not going to "whoop de freakin do" 18% higher costs! Plus a hybrid is going to get better than the 27mpg in the city the Cruze diesel gets.

Compound the better mpg city with the ~20% cheaper fuel, and that Cruze starts making less sense, depending on your priorities and taste. I'm glad the Cruze is the choice, just like I'm glad this will be a choice as well.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2014 4:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
Cheaper fuel? This thing has a turbo, which probably means premium gas. Not cheaper than diesel at all.

By Nutzo on 2/23/2014 6:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
That's 700 miles on an open highway at 60MPH. What kind of range does that Cruze diesel get in heavy city or slow rush hour traffic?
I'm guessing a lot less than the 580 miles the Hybrid will get.

Lithium Ion Battery
By ChronoReverse on 2/21/2014 11:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if/how they solved the way Li-Ion batteries naturally lose capacity over time even if unused.

You lose a great deal of efficiency for using NiMH batteries but in exchange you gain great stability so that the battery pack can easily last 7 years.

RE: Lithium Ion Battery
By Philippine Mango on 2/21/2014 4:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
Lithium Ion batteries fail the same way NIMH batteries fail. If you treat a Li-ion battery the same was as a NIMH battery, they should last the same amount of time.

RE: Lithium Ion Battery
By ChronoReverse on 2/21/2014 7:59:37 PM , Rating: 2

Lithium Ion batteries wear out like NiMH with charge cycles but they ALSO wear out with time.

Simply sitting a Li-Ion for three years will degrade capacity to 70%.

RE: Lithium Ion Battery
By Jedi2155 on 2/22/2014 7:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on what the charge on the battery is at the time it was sitting. If you left it sitting at 100%, then yeah it will degrade like the 70% you mentioned. If you left it at say 40% charge, then it might only degrade 5%.

Automotive manufacturers know this, which is why they never charge them to "100%". Its calendar life is a non-linear curve based on state of charge.

RE: Lithium Ion Battery
By Solandri on 2/23/2014 2:29:51 AM , Rating: 2
Most manufacturers are preventing the problem by limiting the batteries to 20%-80% or 25%-75% charge. That is, when the battery reads empty, it actually still has 20%-25% charge. And when it reads 100%, it's actually only 75%-80% charged. It's the full charges and full discharges (or staying in a fully-charged or fully-discharged state for a long time) which really kill the battery's longevity.

It seems pretty much everyone is doing this nowadays. Phone batteries have gotten reliable enough that I no longer consider a swappable battery as a requirement. And I haven't seen a recent laptop with the dreaded "lasts 15 minutes on a full charge after 2 years of use" syndrome. The few I've taken a close look at, Windows reports the battery's capacity as 70%-80% of what the battery's label says.

RE: Lithium Ion Battery
By Mint on 2/21/2014 5:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
"Lithium ion" is a whole class of different battery chemistries.

There exist lithium ion batteries that degrade in capacity by less than 20% after 5000 cycles. A123 sold batteries that had over 90% capacity after 100,000 cycles.

RE: Lithium Ion Battery
By mosu on 2/21/2014 6:07:31 PM , Rating: 1
And what about A123 going bankrupt and sold to a company from China?

RE: Lithium Ion Battery
By Jedi2155 on 2/22/2014 7:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
They had a great technology. Their business model and direction was not so great. Its a case of Betamax.

what an ugly vehicle
By superstition on 2/21/2014 4:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
cartoon-sized wheels
idiotic cartoon angry anthropomorphic front end

These things will not turn a hatchback into a "cool" vehicle.

RE: what an ugly vehicle
By Spuke on 2/21/2014 4:57:41 PM , Rating: 2
You've never seen a Golf before?

RE: what an ugly vehicle
By mellomonk on 2/22/2014 2:10:49 AM , Rating: 2
In case you have been living under a rock or something, Hot Hatches have been 'cool' and top sellers for over 25 or 30 years in most of the world, particularly outside of the US. And they have a pretty loyal following here as well. Increasingly in the Auto World, the US market doesn't define what is 'cool' the way it once did.

GTI, GTD, Golf R and now GTE. With the mark VII the GTI family has really grown. A little something for everyone. A great handling sporty plug-in hybrid is bringing something different to the table. Particularly if you are somewhere where fuel cost $8 a gallon.

RE: what an ugly vehicle
By superstition on 2/22/2014 4:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
It's still goofy to take a design that is not "hot" and add on big wheels and an angry bird fascia.

I'm not arguing that such silliness can't be popular. I'm just pointing out that it's silly.

I like it - here's hoping we get it in the US
By jak3676 on 2/21/2014 11:10:33 AM , Rating: 3
I really liked my TDI, but it didn't get the HOV exemption here in northern virgina - So I traded it in for a Civic Hybrid that got lower MPG than my diesel, but at least it let me in the HOV lane. I'd really like to get back to a VW though - the build quality was much better.

(Not saying the NOVA rules on who does/doesn't get an HOV exemption make much sense, but you have to make use of the program at hand)

By Brandon Hill on 2/21/2014 11:17:01 AM , Rating: 2
What year Civic Hybrid did you get? If you got a '12, I'm sorry ;)

By Spuke on 2/21/2014 11:45:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'm interested!! I have to see the fuel economy figures first. It's gotta be better than the diesel or no dice. 7.6 sec to 60 doesn't bother me. That's quick for a hybrid. I have time though, this would be a beater car (would buy it used) for when I get my project car.

Bad idea
By Ammohunt on 2/21/2014 12:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
Wow! a VW with even more potential for expensive repairs! no thanks! 31 miles gets me less than half way to work.

RE: Bad idea
By ComputerJuice on 2/24/2014 2:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
That was my concern as well... maybe I'm still living in the past but doesn't a current model VW suffer from the "nearly spending as much time in the shop as they do on the road" syndrome? (corrado vr6 was my last vw, so like I said its been a while)

RE: Bad idea
By Ammohunt on 2/24/2014 4:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
From my experience the answer is yes my hippie neighbors have spent twice over what their late model VW is worth in repairs.

By Swuycheck on 2/21/2014 11:30:22 AM , Rating: 2
VW seems to be catching up very quickly to Ford / Toyota in its offerings. I liked the Ford cmax energi when I saw it at the New England Auto Show this year but I am definitely more excited about this plug in. I wonder if the trunk is compromised like the cmax energi? The energi has no trunk due to the large battery...

By Nutzo on 2/23/2014 6:51:58 PM , Rating: 2
And no spare tire. That's what removed the CMax from my list.

Interior fabric
By The Von Matrices on 2/22/2014 6:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
Who in the world thought that a Tartan pattern for the seats would be the best for the car? It make the interior look straight out of the '80s.

RE: Interior fabric
By ComputerJuice on 2/24/2014 2:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Unfortunately I work in the design field and 80's tartan is the "hot sh*t" again... /sigh

Trunk space? images?
By Swuycheck on 2/21/2014 11:39:54 AM , Rating: 2
Just googled this car and I can't find any images of the trunk or back seat. Anyone have any luck finding pictures of the trunk and back seat? Will the battery take up the entire trunk space like the ford cmax energi?

By VoodooChicken on 2/21/2014 1:30:07 PM , Rating: 2
We were a GTE area as a kid, and I still remember the commercials growing up. Better than SW Bell's if I remember correctly.

By DocScience on 2/22/2014 7:48:36 PM , Rating: 2
So what's the incremental price to save,perhaps 2/3 of a gallon of gasoline per commuting day?

Another Hybrid Plug-In. :)
By foxalopex on 2/24/2014 11:25:07 AM , Rating: 2
I own a Chevy Volt myself and I think it's great that there's going to be some more competition out there soon. Electrics are everything you want in a car. They're quiet, there's no gas / smoke fumes when running on electricity. Having no exhaust at times is nice especially when your car doesn't suck in it's own fumes trying to warm itself up in the morning. They also have an unbelievable linear power response. When you punch the gas, electrics respond instantly with torque, up hills and everywhere unlike most cars. Their biggest issue is that the battery doesn't hold as much power as a tank of gas and the battery is relatively expensive. This is where a hybrid comes into play which is why I got a vehicle like the Volt. If this Golf turns out as reliable as the Volt has I imagine it will gather a decent following from VW fans.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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