This latest prototype was caught virtually undisguised.
Volkswagen presented the ID.3 electric hatchback at Frankfurt – but this isn't the only major model debut VW has planned for this year. Originally, Volkswagen was also going to lift the wraps off the all-new eight-generation Golf at Frankfurt, but the reveal has been delayed until October.
Just like the ID.3, the base-model Golf won't be sold in the US, but American customers will still be able to buy the more powerful GTI and R variants. Earlier this month, we spied another possible variant that could be heading to the US: the new Golf GTE plug-in hybrid. It was covered in camouflage at the time, but this latest prototype was caught almost completely undisguised apart from a few layers of tape disguising the shape of the headlights and taillights.
We can now see the charging port positioned on the left front fender, as well as new wheels, and a revised grille unique to the GTE. It's also wearing VW's newly updated corporate logo that debuted on the ID.3. Once again, this near-production prototype suggests the new Golf will have an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary design update.
When it goes on sale next year, the new GTE will be the most efficient Golf yet. The eighth-generation Golf GTE is expected to share the same 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as the European Passat uprated to 156 hp and a more powerful 115-hp electric motor, bringing the total output from 201 to 218 hp.
Question is, will the new Golf GTE be sold in the US? The last model wasn't, but the e-Golf is being discontinued so it would make sense to fill that void with the Golf GTE - especially as the ID.3 electric hatchback won't be sold in America. If not, at least the new Golf R won't be forbidden fruit in the US, which is expected to pack around 400 hp in the range-topping Plus version.