Now that my petrol itch is being seen to by the new Audi, I have started to have another desire which has manifested itself in the form of a hybrid car! Not just any hybrid mind, the new and very cool BMW i8. A supercar and a Prius in one. A car capable of 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds while still offering on paper, at least, 113 mpg. By combining a new 1.5 litre 3 cylinder engine with a serious electric motor and battery pack BMW seem to have created the automotive ideal. I certainly thought to when I took one for a spin a few weeks ago, it is certainly the most ‘Tron’ like car I have ever driven. With a cool design and scissor doors it certainly catches lots of attention.
I loved the immediate acceleration of the electric powertrain and the noise from the electric engine when it pipes up. However, while I was ready to conclude it would have been a better purchase than the R8, when I jumped back into my car I immediately dispelled all regret as the petrol engine roared into life and the car shot me down the road. They certainly are two different types of cars and while I seriously admire the i8, I no longer desire it, so what I hear you cry do I now have my sights set on.
Well actually it is a bit more mundane than an i8, it is actually a VW Golf – the GTE to be exact. Sitting in the same group as the GTI (Injection) and GTD (Diesel) the GTE (Electric) offers VW groups latest hybrid powertrain. With over 200 bhp on offer it can sprint to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds but crucially can travel at up to 80 mph on electric alone and achieve a combined figure of 188 mpg. What is also very impressive is it has the range of around 30 miles when using electric (double that of the expensive i8) and I think it sounds like a perfect compromise and one that would complement the R8 nicely. This is not to say I can afford the GTE or need it, but for an everyday run around or travelling to and from the city and home it seems to cover most bases. The thought of not paying for much fuel when buzzing around home is a good one, especially with the £100 fuel tanks taking their toll with the other car.
I can see hybrid technology making a big impact in the coming years, but I think with the Golf GTE the compromise has been removed to replace it with a better proposition than just taking the petrol or diesel version. Now I just have to save the pennies.