At long last, Volkswagen has whipped the covers off its e-up! and e-Golf electric automobiles, at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. Volkswagen claims that the e-up sets a new efficiency standard, consuming 11.7 kWh of electrical energy every 100 km (62 miles) for a cost of €3.02 (US$4). The e-Golf isn't far behind, consuming 12.7 kW/h per 100 km at a cost of €3.28. VW also used the event to unveil its new flagship Golf, the latest Golf R, as well as its Golf Sportsvan concept.
The four-door e-Golf's 85-kW motor is powered by a 24.2-kWh lithium-ion battery for a claimed range of up to 190 km (118 miles). The motor can reach up to 12,000 rpm delivering a torque of 270 Nm from the get-go, helping the vehicle to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 10.4 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 140 km/h (87 mph). The e-Golf is equipped with three driving modes balancing performance and efficiency to varying degrees, and four levels of regenerative braking.
The e-Golf will be equipped with all-LED headlights and the Discover/Pro radio and navigation system as standard. It is due to launch in Europe in spring, 2014.
As perhaps befits a car two classes below the e-Golf, the performance of the e-up is more modest. Its 18.7-kWh battery powers a 60-kW motor generating 12,000 rpm for 210 Nm of torque. This sees the e-up going from 0 to 100 km/h in 12.4 seconds. Its maximum speed is 130 km/h (81 mph), and its range 160 km (99 miles). The e-up boasts the same driving and regenerative braking modes as the e-Golf.
If the range of either vehicle sounds limited, VW cites research from Germany's Federal Ministry of Transport which states that 80 percent of German motorists travel under 50 km per day.
Though VW's Golf R increases power by 30 PS over the previous edition to 300 PS or 221 kW (One PS is more or less 98.6 percent of 1 brake horsepower), the company claims fuel efficiency gains of 18 percent.
The Golf R employs the latest version of VW's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and a reconfigured sports suspension system which has seen the body lowered by some 20 mm (0.79 in).
Fitted with a manual gearbox, the new Golf R reaches 100 km/h after 5.1 seconds, shaving a significant 0.6 seconds from the previous model's performance. Add in an automatic dual-clutch gearbox and this falls to 4.9 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).
Despite the performance improvements, Volkswagen has it that fuel consumption has been reduced from 8.5 to 7.1 l/100 km (33 mpg), with CO2 emissions down to 165 g/km from 199 g/km. There are further efficiency improvements if the optional stop-start system, battery regeneration and six-speed gearbox are fitted.
Described as a "near-production" addition to the Golf rostrum, the Golf Sportsvan is the spiritual successor of the Golf Plus, marrying the compact car with the minivan in the hope of providing the usefulness of an everyday runaround without completely sacrificing the Golf's seemingly universal appeal.
To that end the Golf Sportsman is packing 1,500 liters of storage in the back, and, in a first for a Golf, is equipped with a blind spot monitor to help when maneuvering out of parking spaces. Utilizing this feature, the vehicle can automatically brake to prevent collisions when reversing.
When it launches in the middle of 2014, the Golf Sportsvan will come with a choice of one of six new engines, all of which have stop-start as standard. Four turbocharged petrol-injection engineers range from 85 PS (63 kW) up to 150 PS (110 kW), while the two turbo-diesel engines are rated at 110 PS (81 kW) and 150 PS (110 kW).
You can see more details in the press releases below.