We know the Golf Blu-e-Motion is not due out until 2014, a bit late if you ask us, but as we got to test drive one this summer and the new Golf is due in for the Paris Motor Show 2012, we thought we would prep a gallery for you. Stats on the car are after the jump but the electric version is visually the same as the regular on-the-road Golf as it's part of a German government subsidised trial. The Golf was simply kitted out with VW's electric drivetrain in the best way possible without manufacturing a whole new body. The BMW i3, for example, expresses a whole new way of driving electric instead of force feeding EV tech into a century old mould. So, although the design innovation really lies under the hood (I have to say the Golf's is one of the coolest as it mimics old school computer towers innards) there is not much to critique other than remind our readers that VW does have a non-fossil fueled vehicle design vision...its just reserved at the moment to the XL-1. There are arguments that back up both approaches - regular looking or new looking EV design - mainly by the companies themselves. There is however one golden rule - if you are going to make an EV feel like a regular car (which you can't by the way) then you have to at least make some tweaks to make it drive like your brand.
There is something we happily discovered about the electric Golf at a test-drive day out in Farnham; aside from very controlled weight distribution (despite extra 205 kg of batteries), responsive handling, accurate if muted torque, the Golf reserved a cheeky trick up its sleeve. How, the engineers might have asked themselves, can we make the car behave in a VW way that respects and ticks all the tech boxes yet shows that we, too, love to drive? Enter interactive regen braking! Just behind the steering wheel are discrete paddle shifts that would normally be used to change gears in a car but in this EV they are there to assist with regenerative braking. In setting 'B' the driver can actually use them to simulate sporty gear shifting by releasing or increasing the amount of regen braking. Whilst its technically purposeful it is also a unique idea. What if we could engineer electric vehicles to behave and do things that we would not expect of them? Would that make them more appealing? Certainly. But do we have to conform with conformity? I don't think so.
A last word on the interior. Unlike most nouvelle (because many are French for some reason) EV's that have sparse interiors with minimal comforts the Golf interior is thankfully much like the 'regular' versions. Solar panels on the roof assist minor functions such as keeping the batteries cool and regulating the cabin temperature and the trim and design are top stitch. So while we wait here are some fab shots by Olgun to haul us over the next few weeks until the new, more terse Golf Mk 7 is officially revealed. If you can't wait until 2014, not to worry the new electric up! will be coming our way in 2013!
Model tested: Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-Motion Power: 114 bhp permanent magnet synchronous electric motor Torque: 199 lb/ft 0-62mph: 11.8s Top speed: 82 mph Weight: 1500kg CO2 emissions: 0 g/km Price: NA
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