VW South Africa has confirmed that the plug-in hybrid variants of the 8th-generation Golf – the GTE and eHybrid – will not be available locally.
The company said this is due to the high costs associated with hybrid technology, low local market demand for these drivetrains, and the quality of South Africa’s fuels.
“The eHybrid is currently not released for our market due to the fuel quality in South Africa,” said VW.
“That’s the case for the GTE as well”.
“We do, however, continue to evaluate the market conditions and if the opportunity arises we will look at the possibilities to launch the vehicle in South Africa.”
The news comes as little surprise, as no hybrid VW Golfs have been made available locally since the launch of the first models in 2014.
“The high price point relative to the equivalent internal combustion engine models, and our fuel quality, have been the two influencing factors on why we have not introduced Golf Hybrid models to South Africa,” said the company.
VW Golf GTE
The first mass-produced VW Golf models that featured batteries under the shell were introduced in 2014, in the form of the all-electric e-Golf and the Golf GTE plug-in hybrid.
The newest GTE comes with a system output equaling that of the GTI – 180kW – and adds an electric range of 60 kilometres on top of this.
The four-cylinder TSI engine produces 110kW, with a 13kWh electric motor providing the rest.
With torque, however, the drivetrain is able to better the petrol variant by 30Nm – as it generates 400Nm in total.
The GTE achieves the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.5 seconds, while recording a combined fuel consumption of 1.5l/100km, said VW.
It can also be driven at speeds of up to 130km/h in all-electric mode.
In terms of design, the GTE is nearly identical to the GTI – bar the badging, exhaust outlets, and blue design elements.
Inside, it also sports the digital interior of the eighth-generation Golf GTI, along with a few infotainment features specifically for the hybrid derivative.
The German starting price for the VW Golf 8 GTE is €41,667, which translates to roughly R716,000 using current exchange rates.