Set to arrive here sometime late next year, the new 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf will make its first appearance in U.S. trim at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Shown for the first time at Frankfurt in September, it's based on the same modular architecture that underpins the new Gen VII Golf and will be the first VW EV to be sold in the American market. One of the pillars of the automaker's "Think Blue" campaign to create sustainable transportation for the future, the e-Golf will play a significant role in helping VW meet its stated goal of becoming the preeminent force in e-mobility by 2018.
Sharing all key styling and content with its European sibling, the new e-Golf will be available only as a 5-door hatchback and feature a number of distinctive visual cues, highlighted by the first fitment of standard LED headlamps on any VW. Other exclusive touches include C-shaped LED running lights, a blue grille garnish and unique aero-designed 16-inch alloy wheels positioned flush with the wheel arches and wrapped in 205-section low-rolling resistance tires. Less visible wind-cheating elements include an articulated grille shutter, C-pillar air vanes, a subtle rear hatch spoiler and bespoke underbody fairings.
The Volkswagen e-Golf is powered by a 115 horse electric motor that develops 199 lb-ft of torque. Energized by a 24.2kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack located under the rear seat and matched to a single speed automatic transmission that ships motive force to the front wheels, it can propel the 3,090-pound e-Golf from 0-60 mph in an estimated 10.4 seconds and carry it on to an electronically limited top speed of 87 mph. VW estimates that depending on ambient temperatures and driving styles, the e-Golf should be able to travel 70-90 miles on a single charge. Replenishment times run from nearly 20 hours on a standard 110/120V outlet using the car's 7.2kW on-board charger to a 220V wall charger that cuts that time to about four hours. The e-Golf's standard Combined Charging System also allows the car to use up to a 40kW DC fast-charging system that can amp the battery back up to an 80-percent level in 40 minutes.
To help optimize its overall range, the new e-Golf also features a pair of on-board energy conserving technologies. In addition to a selectable three-mode (Normal/Eco/Eco+) driving profile system that progressively trims motor output and top speed levels, the vehicle also allows the driver to choose between three different degrees of regenerative braking intensity to permit more aggressive levels of on-the-fly recharging.
Beyond its unique EV-specific instrument cluster/dash display readouts, custom trim elements and a special acoustics package, the 2015 VW e-Golf boasts an impressive roster of standard comfort/convenience items that include V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, a touchscreen navigation system, VW Car-Net connected services, Keyless entry/push-button starting, Bluetooth, heated front seats and leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel as well a new safety feature: Automatic Post-Collision Braking System (APCBS).
Computer-controlled, APCBS is designed to automatically slow the vehicle following a collision to try to prevent a secondary impact and significantly reduce its remaining kinetic energy. The e-Golf also will have its own dedicated VW Car-Net e-Remote app to allow owners to control and monitor various vehicle systems. Finally to help reduce the dreaded range anxiety, VW also plans to offer a Roadside Assistance Plan that will fetch and deliver to the nearest charging station any e-Golf that suffers a trip-terminating depletion incident within 100 miles of the owners home.
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