Like most of you, we were very disappointed that Volkswagen did not present the new-gen Golf at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, choosing to put the emphasis on the ID.3 electric hatchback instead.
However, with its unveiling date believed to have been set for next month, prototypes of the popular German hatchback are starting to lose most of their camouflage.
A prototype of the Golf GTE plug-in hybrid was caught practically undisguised last week on camera by our spy photographers testing around the Nurburgring track in Germany – and now we’ve just received a new batch of images showcasing the eighth-gen Golf’s PHEV variant.
Compared to the rest of the family, the Golf GTE has differently styled bumpers and a charging port on the left front fender. In spite of looking production ready, the finished item is expected to further differentiate itself by adopting some blue exterior trim that denotes its identity. As for the wheels, they should carry over to the production model with the exact same pattern, although other designs will likely be available as well.
The most important piece of the puzzle is, naturally, the plug-in hybrid powertrain, which will make the new Golf GTE the most fuel-efficient member of the Mk8 family, as the role of the all-electric compact hatch in VW’s stable has already been taken by the ID.3. The unit should be the one also used by the 2020 Passat GTE, which consists of a 1.4-liter TSI, rated at 156 PS (154 hp / 115 kW), and a 115 PS (113 hp / 85 kW) electric motor, for a combined output of 218 PS (215 hp / 160 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque.
If it carries over, the 13 kWh battery should provide enough energy for at least 60 km (37 miles) of all-electric driving in the WLTP test cycle, given that the larger and heavier Passat GTE has a 56-km (35-mile) EV range.
When it goes on sale next year, the new Golf GTE will challenge the likes of the Mercedes-Benz A250e, which uses a 1.3-liter engine and an electric motor with a total system output of 218 PS (215 hp / 160 kW) and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque. The Merc packs a 15.6 kWh battery and can travel for 60-68 km (37-42 miles) in zero-emissions mode. The premium hatchback starts at €36,943.55 ($40,766) in Germany, so the Golf will probably be more affordable, although pricing will obviously be announced after the model has officially been unveiled.