Peek under the bonnet of the upcoming e-Golf

Drew with VW

While I was recently visiting The Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab (ERL) in Belmont, CA, to see a number of the latest innovations from Volkswagen (read my previous post on ERL), I also had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at a fleet of electric Golfs, badged as e-Golf. Details are still forthcoming on these cars as the engineers are deep in testing, but here’s a quick look at what I was able to find out.

I’ll dive into the initial performance specs in a minute, but what made these prototypes stand out from other electrics is the way they sounded. To keep these stealthy electrics from sneaking up on prey at places other than the gas station, the engineers have created a unique sound that, to me, mimics the Hoverboard in Back to the Future II. I really hope this sound makes it through development when the e-Golf hits showrooms.

The e-Golf reaches 60 mph in under 12 seconds with a top speed of 86 mph. Torque is measured at 199 pound-feet that is always on tap, no matter what speed you’re traveling. And with the weight of the batteries being positioned low in the vehicle, I’m told these Golfs are still characteristically fun to toss through corners.

The estimated driving range is 93 miles, which will of course change whether you’re flogging the car on the track with the air conditioning blowing or hyper-miling up and down the 101 during non-peak hours.

To ensure maximum mileage, the e-Golf has a handful of added features to preserve energy. Included are three driving modes for regenerative braking, where kinetic energy is recaptured into the battery. The vehicle can also coast whenever the driver releases the accelerator pedal.

Similar to how TDI enthusiasts love to show off their high mileage achievements, I expect future e-Golf owners to do the same for their range accomplishments. I’m foreshadowing a competition in the near future…

Tell me what you think about electric cars and what you’d like to know more about the e-Golf that I can look into when I see it again later this year.

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