The Volkswagen brand spans more than 150 markets around the world, and over the course of decades, it's finally delivered its 150 millionth car. And fittingly, it's an electrified (and rather sporty) vehicle: a Golf GTE plug-in hybrid.
The brand delivered the milestone car in Norway, also fitting as Norway leads Europe in the push toward zero tailpipe emissions transportation. The country will ban the sale of new cars powered by an internal-combustion engine in 2025. VW says GTE is the owner's sixth Golf in addition to two Passats, a Polo, and a Caravelle.
If the Golf GTE sounds unfamiliar, that's because VW doesn't sell it in North America. The electrified GTI of sorts pairs a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine with an 8.8-kwh lithium-ion battery, which provides power for an electric motor good for around 31 miles of electric range. The powertrain sends the total output of 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque to a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. We drove the hatchback last year and found it nearly as thrilling as a Golf GTI, even though the battery pack adds 265 pounds to the car's curb weight.
VW plans an extensive rollout of vehicles on its dedicated electric-car platform, MEB. The first example will be the ID hatchback, which will also replace the e-Golf when it arrives in 2020. However, VW hasn't confirmed the ID hatchback for sale in North America. Instead, VW will likely launch an electric SUV and it already confirmed a production model based on the ID Buzz electric bus concept will reach North America early next decade.