VW e-Golf whispers into 2017 LA motor show

Published: 17 November 2016

 New VW e-Golf is unveiled
 50% longer range: '186 miles'
 Follows format of Golf update

The new VW e-Golf follows the rest of the buffed-up 2017 Golf range – and it's benefited from a significant 50% improvement to its electric battery range.

Volkswagen claims a 186-mile range on the European test cycle but, in a nod to the post-Dieselgate sensitivities, is eager to point out a more realistic 125-mile shot in the real world on the tougher American EPA system.

The five-door-only electric Golf was the big news on the VW stand at the 2016 Los Angeles motor show.

Click here for our review of the last VW e-Golf.

How has VW extended the electric range of the Golf?

It's all in the battery tech, naturally. The cells' energy capacity has been boosted from 24.2kWh to 35.8kWh, providing more range.

VW e-Golf

Moreover, VW claims the charge time is trickling down: punters with access to a fast-charge can top up to 80% capacity in just an hour; a more regular wallbox takes six hours to fill up.

Performance upgrade, too

A more powerful electric motor accompanies the more muscle-bound battery; power climbs by 20bhp to 134bhp, and torque leaps too, from 199lb ft to 214lb ft.

Styling changes mimic those on the rest of the Golf range. There are new full LED headlamps and rear lights, and the characteristic blue trim around the grille is retained; the C-shaped driving lights in the bumper are reserved for the e-Golf too.

The big news inside is the arrival of gesture control, a smarter 12.3-inch virtual instrument pack and the ever-increasing upgrade to the car's autonomous systems – this battery-powered Golf can drive mostly itself, at speeds of up to 40mph, with the new Traffic Jam Assist function. 

A lesson in electrification

Volkswagen is on a roll with its electrification programme. It already makes 75,000 electrified cars a year, across its E and GTE ranges, at three different European factories (the e-Golf rolls down the same production line as petrol and diesel Golfs).

Who buys them all? Number one market is Norway, followed by France, Germany, the UK and Denmark.

Dieselgate? This is the future, and it's quite appropriate the silent e-Golf is being unveiled in the US, where the crisis emanated.

Click here for all of CAR magazine's VW reviews

Inside the new 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet