VW Golf GTE: 204hp and 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds comes from 'just' a 1.4-litre TSI petrol turbo, helped out by a 102hp electric motor.
This also means lots of torque - 258lb ft, in fact - coincidentally the same as the Mk7 GTI. With a healthy chunk available instantly from the e-motor giving you a decent kick in the kidneys, it means this shopping car engine Golf is bordering on GTI performance.
Alright, it's 1.6 seconds slower than a DSG-equipped GTI to 62mph, but in e-mode at part throttle, it feels plenty urgent.
Rolling out onto the apron at Berlin's disused Tempelhof airport, pushing the throttle to the stop activates the kick down switch, which brings the 1.4 unit buzzing into life. It's a smooth and seamless transition even on this pre-production development mule (although it looked suspiciously polished and like a finished car to us), but with some steering lock on and that instant twist available from the e-motor, the front axle doesn't get an easy ride.
Straighten up and back off the gas and the petrol motor cuts out, bringing you back to silent wafting, with the potential to achieve up to a provisional 188mpg, emitting just 35g/km CO2, according to Vee-dub.
There is a 'cure' though. Stab at the button marked 'GTE' next to the familiar selector for the triple-clutch six-speed DSG 'box (to do with how the hybrid unit integrates) and the TSI motor operates continuously, while the steering weight is beefed up and more noise piped into the cabin.
Select the plug-in Golf's 'B' mode and confidence grows a stage further. The electric motor's regenerative effect is ramped up, meaning not only do you get more deceleration, but more energy pumped back into the battery to deploy on the other side of the corner, too. The extra retardation is noticeable, and could be the difference between hitting an apex or gravel trap on a track day if you misjudge your braking point.
Overall though, the GTE still doesn't feel like a GTI. It's duller and less agile through quick direction changes - possibly due to the lack of any clever systems at the front, possibly due to the extra 150kg of mass from the 120kg battery pack and some associated systems.
the GTD: performance and efficiency, yet again.
However, if we have to have our hot hatches served up with a 'green' side salad in the future, it might not be such a bad thing. If VW can tweak it for even more performance, the GTE has plenty of potential.
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTE (PROTOTYPE)
Engine: 1,395cc 4-cyl turbo, gearbox-mounted electric motor
Transmission: 6-speed triple-clutch auto, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 150hp 1.4 TSI, 102hp electric motor, 204hp combined total output
Torque (lb ft): 258
0-62mph: 7.6 sec
Top speed: 138mph
MPG: 188mpg (VW provisional claims)
CO2: 35g/km CO2 (VW provisional claims)
Price: £28,250 (estimated)