Updated VW Golf 8 has two new PHEV variants

In some countries, Germany, for example, there is a renewed interest in plug-in hybrids. From its facelifted eight-generation Golf, Volkswagen now proposes two PHEV variants with electric ranges of up to 140 kilometers.

In January, Volkswagen presented its facelifted Golf 8 to the public and announced a new PHEV generation simultaneously. VW first unveiled what is now the eighth Golf in October 2019 and added two PHEV drives in August 2020.

Following the Passat and the Tiguan, the Golf 8 and its PHEV offshoots will now also be equipped with the company’s latest drive generation of its ‘Modularer Querbaukasten (MQB) platform.

Battery doubled in size, faster charging

One of the most significant changes is that the battery has a usable net energy content of 19.7 kWh, whereas previously, only 10.6 kWh net was available. That will enable a purely electric WLTP range of over 100 kilometers.

Following homologation, the Golf eHybrid can now travel up to 143 kilometers and the Golf GTE up to 131 kilometers. The charging system is also new: the battery can be charged at AC charging points with 11 kW instead of the previous 3.6 kW. The revised Golf can charge at DC points with up to 50 kW. Previously, charging at DC units was not possible at all.

Two performance levels

The new PHEVs also use a different combustion engine: the 1.4-litre petrol engine from the EA211 series has been replaced by the 1.5 TSI evo2, which is known internally at VW as the EA211evo.

The plug-in hybrid Golf is available in two performance levels. The Golf eHybrid has a system output of 150 kW, and the Golf GTE has 200 kW (20 kW more than before). The GTE is positioned as a sporty model and offers some design borrowings from the iconic Golf GTI, such as the chequered seat upholstery – only in the GTE with blue instead of red accents.

Minor design changes

The facelift’s design changes are moderate. According to VW, “the LED headlights, LED tail light clusters, and the front bumper are new.” Moreover, “as an alternative to the standard LED headlights, performance headlights will be available in a first optional configuration level.

In this case, the front has an illuminated Volkswagen badge – as a first in Europe – and a horizontal LED strip in the radiator grille.” The rear lights have also been given a new 3D light graphic.

Inside is the new infotainment generation with revised menu navigation and a larger touchscreen (up to 32.8 centimeters). The much-criticized touch sliders at the bottom of the screen are now illuminated. In contrast, the touch surfaces on the steering wheel have disappeared entirely and been replaced by conventional buttons.

As presented at CES at the beginning of January, the AI chatbot ChatGPT is integrated into the VW voice assistant IDA. That allows the system to access the ‘constantly growing database of artificial intelligence’.

According to Volkswagen, the Golf eHybrid starts at €44,240, and the Golf GTE is available from €46,745 in Germany. Prices in Belgium aren’t known yet.

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